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Cala: An unnecessary burden on pupils

Editorial Comment
The programme has come under attack from parents and teachers alike for wasting time and resources without adding value.

THERE is pulpable public anger and discontent over the Continuous Assessment Learning Activity (Cala) programme which was introduced in schools in 2016.

The programme has come under attack from parents and teachers alike for wasting time and resources without adding value.

The uproar came out as parents and stakeholders debated with government officials during a curriculum review that started this week on Monday.

The Primary and Secondary Education ministry recently started engagements with stakeholders to review the Cala curriculum, which entailed learners undertaking projects as part of the coursework requirement for the final examinations.

The Cala curriculum, since its inception, has been heavily criticised by students, parents and teachers for being a challenge since no training was done prior to its introduction, while it is also financially demanding.

As the curriculum review is currently underway, stakeholders have proposed the removal of the concept, describing it as useless in terms of adding value to children's education.

If the second republic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa is a listening government it must heed people's calls and dump this programme.

Because of the complications around it, most of the research work is done by parents and guardians. Teachers have been cashing in on the desperation of the students, charging hefty fees to do the work themselves.

 In this regard, our education system was creating lazy highbrows who do not even know how they passed examinations.

At some point we have seen Ordinary Level pupils being asked to identify traditional foods and wild fruits and attach pictures of such foods on their files.

One wonders what knowledge a learner gains from such a task, or if such tasks impart any life skill to the learners.

It is clear that this is a pointless concept and must be dumped quickly before it causes permanent damage to our children. 

Some teachers and parents have argued that if a university student can only concentrate on one research project at the end of their programme, why should learners from primary to secondary school be made to research on several projects.

They suggested that learners, especially those in examination classes, should have such projects in their practical subjects of choice such as agriculture, carpentry, science, dressmaking, cookery, among others. 

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