HomeLocal NewsTeachers blast Dokora over ‘rushed curriculum’

Teachers blast Dokora over ‘rushed curriculum’

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GOVERNMENT is rushing to implement the new education curriculum without proper consultations with stakeholders, the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has lamented.

BY SILAS NKALA

Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora
Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora

The Primary and Education ministry has set up a new curriculum, which will start being implemented when schools open on Tuesday.

PTUZ president, Takavafira Zhou yesterday blasted Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora, arguing the move had put schools in a dilemma, given the little time left before the new term.

Zhou argued the new curriculum was complex and involved new technologies for all schools, when the majority of institutions in the rural areas lack the requisite infrastructure and most teachers were not computer literate.

“In a rushed and unrealistic move, the Primary and Secondary Education ministry has announced that a new curriculum must be implemented with effect from next Tuesday,” he wrote.

“This move is not only intransigent and callous, but also a monumental injustice, impermeable to reason and facts.

“Fundamentally, the syllabi are not readily available in schools. The teaching material or textbooks for the new curricula are not readily available, yet there are completely new subjects that have been introduced such as Heritage Studies and Economic History.

“Above all, teachers, as key implementers of the new curriculum, have not received the adequate in-service training necessary for the immediate implementation.”

Zhou said the 12 terms of continuous assessment implied in the new curricula would make it impossible to implement the new syllabus anywhere beyond Grades 1 to 4 for primary schools and Form 1 at secondary level.

“Yet surprisingly, ministry officials are calling for wholesale implementation at primary and secondary schools. It is clear that the implementation of the new curriculum is haphazardly rushed and neither rural nor urban schools are prepared for a smooth take-off of the new curricula,” he continued.

“The new curriculum has great emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT), yet the ministry has not taken any contingent measures to close the ICT gulf between urban and rural schools or even training of teachers so that they are not deskilled by the new curriculum.

“PTUZ urges education officials to mellow down to a more constructive approach in which there is engagement with teachers, in-service training, production of teaching material and other contingent measures before implementation of any reforms in the education sector.”

Zhou said the current stampede and “commandist style of reforms” would not benefit either the students or the teachers.

“It is tantamount to cold and calculated educational vandalism and is a wrong prescription for the educational challenges in Zimbabwe. Sadly, Dokora and his lieutenants will arbitrarily muddle and meddle through, as has become fashionable in their style of management,” he said.

PTUZ Matabeleland South chairperson, Urgent Moyo agreed with Zhou, saying the issue was broader than implied.

“In the long run, rural schools will suffer most given the disparity in ICT between rural and urban schools and the inclination of the new curricula to ICTs. It remains a mystery how education officials plan to close such a gulf,” he said. “The ministry should have conducted a survey on the readiness of rural schools to commence this new curriculum on current resources. Most rural schools are struggling to computerise.”

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