TEMPERS flared among parents in Bulawayo during curriculum review meetings in the city early this week.
The meetings, which began on Monday, discussed the Continuous Assessment Learning Activity (Cala) curriculum, with most parents demanding that it be scrapped off.
Cala was introduced in 2016. It is a learning activity or assessment that requires learners to perform, demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and proficiency. Under the system, the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council assesses candidates’ physical and behavioural skills continuously.
The Cala marks (coursework) contribute 30% to student’s final marks. Summative or knowledge skills assessed during examinations contributes 70% to the candidate’s final grade.
Since Monday, the Primary and Secondary Education ministry has been engaging stakeholders to review the Cala curriculum.
At Coghlan Primary School in Bulawayo, there was heated exchange between teachers and parents over Cala.
An angry parent ended up telling the co-ordinating staff to go back to the government and not “bother” them.
“Government must go back to the drawing board on Cala. We are not educated but our children are now learning useless things,” a parent said.
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Another irate parent, Nkululeko Tshuma also said Cala must be thrown out of the school curriculumas it is very expensive to sustain.
A senior member of staff at Coghlan Primary School had to calm down the irate parents.
“We are all stakeholders and we want to build something together. Maybe the government has seen something wrong in its move and that is why it is now engaging stakeholders. Let us co-operate and work with it,” the senior staff member said.
Indications were that in several schools in the city where meetings were held to discuss the Cala programme, parents were not happy about the concept, describing it as a waste of resources.
They feel it is unlikely to benefit learners with life skills or intellectual capacity.
Efforts to get a comment from Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro were fruitless as his phone was unreachable.