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Save education from disruptive Dokora

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When Education minister Lazarus Dokora’s tenure at the helm of the ministry ends, he will have done so much irreparable damage that his successor could probably be unable to undo.

NEWSDAY COMMENT

Dokora has overseen the biggest changes to the ministry in the shortest possible time, but instead of the changes being good, they are to the detriment of the education system.
At the end of 2016 and beginning of this year, Dokora has introduced a new application system that is clearly not fit for purpose and disadvantages thousands of students, particularly in rural areas, where simply going online is a novelty.

The minister also introduced a new syllabus, which at face value is not bad, but in reality cannot be implemented, as it was introduced hurriedly without teachers being prepared for it, which can only be disastrous for the pupils.

But the introduction of seven compulsory subjects — which include physical education, sport and mass displays — surely takes the cake.

How mass displays are made a compulsory subject is beyond belief and every right-thinking person would ask if this is necessary at all.

Mass displays sound like a remnant of the Soviet or Communist China eras and there is little or no value that they will add to our education system.

Instead, Dokora could have made computer science compulsory while mass displays — if it is a necessary subject — would have been elective.

Yes, sport and physical education are important, but making them compulsory ahead of computer science is surely shooting ourselves in the foot.

Then there is the introduction of heritage studies, which could be nothing more than a mass indoctrination exercise.

Although not compulsory, most schools were already teaching history and one wonders what the point of heritage studies is.

Geography has also seemingly been relegated to the elective category, yet it has been a staple for decades, but at the stroke of a pen, Dokora has diminished its importance.
Dokora must think he has to reinvent the wheel, but the changes he seeks are not in any way going to improve education in the country.

The education system needs saving from Dokora, because if he is allowed to continue running over best practice that could spell doom for the much-vaunted literacy rate that Zimbabwe boasts of.

If Dokora is desperate to implement changes, then he should go the evolutionary route, where change is gradual, not where change is sudden and unpredictable.

He may think his changes are for the best, but because of the manner of the way they are introduced, he is certain to meet resistance.

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