Zimbabwe Reviews School Curriculum Amid Concerns Over CALA

9 months agoTue, 16 May 2023 10:30:00 GMT
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Zimbabwe Reviews School Curriculum Amid Concerns Over CALA

The Government of Zimbabwe is in the process of reviewing the Primary and Secondary Schools’ curriculum amid concerns that Continuous Assessment Learning Activity (CALA) were burdening pupils.

Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister, Edgar Moyo, made this announcement in the National Assembly last Wednesday. The Herald quotes him as saying:

Currently, we are running a curriculum review process. This week we are finishing the training for people to conduct the reviews. I think, next week on the 16th, that is when we are going to have the national review session which is going to run nationally in all settings.

It is there that we expect to receive recommendations from different stakeholders on how to view the entire curriculum including this formative examination situation which we call CALA.

Moyo added that school heads and teachers have been trained to package assignments into manageable units, rather than giving everything at once, to prevent overloading children. He said if this policy is not followed, it goes against Government policy. Children should have a specific period to complete assignments.

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The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education introduced CALA in 2021 through ZIMSEC. The procedure assesses candidates’ academic aptitude continuously and contributes 30% to their final grade. The remaining 70% is based on summative or knowledge skills assessed during the main examination. CALA requires pupils to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding, and proficiency in learning areas before the exam.

Critics of CALA claim that it burdens pupils, teachers, and parents. They argue that it lacks clarity, consistency, and standardisation, and some teachers give assignments that are too difficult, while others do not provide enough support. Concerns have been raised about the quality of assessments and the lack of resources and training for teachers.

Some say CALA may also widen the gap between urban and rural schools, as well as private and public schools, as some institutions have better resources than others to implement CALA effectively.

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