Crisis as Minister Dokora introduces new curriculum
Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Lazarus Dokora has hit the final nail to the country’s education system following the ongoing introduction of the controversial new curriculum.
Investigations conducted by Report Focus across the colleges in the central business district zone of Harare unearthed serious changes that could threaten the viability of the country’s education system.
A principal at one of the of the city colleges who preferred anonymity said that with effect from this year ordinary level and advanced level students will now get their coursework marks added to the final exam mark.
Among the changes is that if a candidate fails to pass the ordinary level final exam there will be a requirement to repeat from form three level. More practical have also been added across the curriculum.
Semi-qualified teachers who are in possession of non-teaching degrees have been compelled to enroll for the Postgraduate Diploma in Education or drop out of the job.
However sources with the education ministry said that if the policy of enrolling for education studies is to be effected, science subjects were likely to be hit a hard blow since most teachers in this area do not have the qualification.
Most of the changes have been met with resistance by most parents interviewed by Report Focus.
“Our country has no jobs, there is no money and yet we are expected to bankroll repeating students’ studies for two years since they have to start off from form three. Already we are struggling to send them to school so how do you expect us to fund them?” queried one Marceline Chadzingwa.
“Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council has been struggling to capture simple data generated during the June and November examinations. How are they going to manage capturing coursework marks for all the students across the country?” said Malcom Mlambo.
Even teachers who spoke to Report Focus had no kind feelings over the latest developments.
“We are earning a salary which is far below the poverty datum line. When Dokora came into office he barred the parents from paying us incentives. He then compelled us to stay put at the workplaces from 8am to 5pm.He also banned extra lessons and in turn he has increased our workload. This is very disheartening,” said one teacher who preferred anonymity.
Another section of interviewees expressed dissatisfaction over the directive to enroll for the education qualifications.
“Directing teachers to attain the postgraduate diploma in education qualification should not just be an imposed order before engaging them and listening to their concerns. This is not different from the way the national pledge was introduced before the parents were consulted. There is need first establish the necessity of this qualification,” said one Courage Munoda.
Munoda argued that the country’s education standards boomed at a time when most schools were manned by temporary teachers in the 1990’s and he pointed out that the proposals were just converting the teachers to mere theorists with nothing to offer to the students.
Efforts to get a comment from Patrick Zumbo ,the Primary and Secondary education spokesperson was unreachable.