THE ZIPRA Veterans’ Association has started lobbying the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to incorporate into its history curriculum the role played by Zipra combatants during the liberation struggle to correct distortions being peddled from other quarters.
BY SILAS NKALA
The association’s secretary-general, Petros Sibanda, told Southern Eye at the weekend that they raised the issue during a new education curriculum review symposium in Bulawayo last week.
The symposium was attended by Primary and Secondary Education Minister Paul Mavima, top ministry officials, teachers, schools heads, publishers, parents and Zipra Veterans’ Association, amongst other stakeholders.
Zipra veterans have for long complained that their contribution to the liberation struggle was not being recognised in the country’s history books.
They symposium recommended that A-Level mathematics should revert back to the old syllabus which combined the various components of statistics, mechanics and pure mathematics.
“Heritage studies and guidance and counselling must be unbundled and these subjects components be distributed as compulsory components to other matching subjects like history, biology, commerce/business enterprise, geography etc,” reads the recommendations made at the meeting.
“Compulsory subjects to be restricted to: English, indigenous languages, maths, one practical learning area (no to compulsory agriculture and physical education), geography, history and combined science. Inclusion of the Zpra contributions to the liberation struggle into the history syllabus and textbooks, moreso, consultations to be made in the writing of history books to capture the Zpra contributions.”
The recommendations also alluded to a quota system to be followed when national projects were being planned and carried out in order to gather inclusive views.
“Tasks must be reduced to one per learner per learning area per two years. Projects to follow the same format and these should be more school based,” read the recommendations.
“Tasks must be staggered through the two year course and to take cognisance of regional disparities. (Instead of one task or project for everyone throughout the country, schools/learners should choose what suits their environs).”
The stakeholders also recommended that the national pledge must be withdrawn but further interaction with minister led to a consensus of rewording the pledge and having it recited by all Zimbabweans like the national anthem.
The stakeholders also recommended that there must be motivation of the teachers for the successful implementation of the wake of the increased workload.
They also recommended that there must be revisiting of the syllabus content for the infant and junior school to avoid overloading the learners.
Mavima said if he was ever going to consider incentives, these would be purely on merit such as academic performance and financial muscle of the school.
“On the latter, schools were encouraged to run school based business enterprises to balance their budgets. Schools were also encouraged to computerise but avoid purchasing obsolete technology. Justification for family and religious studies (FRS) was that Zimbabwe constitutionally respects other religions (freedom of worship) hence instead of making teachers Christian preachers, teachers have to be inclusive although FRS is dominated by Christianity. NB: Religious and moral education has always taught other religions like Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam,” reads the report.
“The ministry is likely to make a pronouncement on the necessary curriculum adjustments before schools open as a Review Panel is currently working on these adjustments.”