Chaos in schools over new curriculum

Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro

THERE is chaos in schools as teachers are failing to effectively implement the recently introduced heritage-based curriculum after the new education blueprint came without a syllabus, NewsDay has learnt.

The Heritage-Based Education 2024-30 Curriculum Framework was announced in February, and its implementation commenced this May from the early childhood development (ECD) up to upper secondary school level with the exemption of exam classes.

In a circular dated April 22, addressed to schools, the government tasked teachers to take ownership of the new curriculum.

“The responsibility for quality educational provision in individual schools at the local level rests with the head, teachers, parents, business and the community,” the circular read.

Government in the circular promised to have a syllabus review in December 2024.

Investigations by NewsDay, however, revealed that there is pandemonium surrounding the syllabi, with teachers resorting to the internet to research on what to teach.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president, Takavafira Zhou, said the heritage-based curriculum was hurriedly introduced.

“It was important to develop syllabi and also to make sure that there was in-service training for the current teachers in schools,” Zhou said.

“There was a need to produce learning material before the introduction of the new curriculum. The curriculum has been introduced without syllabi and teachers are wondering what to do.”

 “Things are not well in schools and teachers lack proper guidance, standardisation and interoperability.”

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) deputy secretary-general, Munyaradzi Masiyiwa, said the confusion compromised the quality of the new curriculum.

“Procedurally, teachers scheme from the syllabus. The ‘upgraded’ heritage-based curriculum presents itself without syllabuses,” he said.

“Without content specification, sequencing and item integration, no teacher can effectively scheme and it follows that the quality of teaching and learning is compromised.”

He added: “A syllabus gives specific objectives to be covered at each and every level with guidelines on methods that a classroom practitioner can deploy to cover such content. Syllabuses also provide integrated topic sequences per subject.”

“Schools can then use these national syllabuses to come up with school-based syllabuses at school level. The individual teachers use these 2 documents to make subject specific schemes and lesson plans.”

Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said the claims were not true when contacted for comment.

“If it’s coming from Artuz, it's not accurate. They  cannot talk about education policy. They are a front for the opposition,” he said.

The new curriculum replaces the contentious Continuous Assessment Learning Activities.

Government had said the Primary and Secondary Education ministry would roll out a matrix on the implementation of the curriculum.

The ministry said the curriculum was centred on the development of innovative skills in students.

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