High Court stalls new curriculum challenge

Minister Dokora

Minister Dokora

Mashudu Netsianda Bulawayo Bureau—
The High Court has dismissed an urgent chamber application filed by Dadaya High School School Development Committee challenging the newly-introduced school curriculum. Parents with children at the school accused Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora of imposing the new curriculum, without consultation. In his ruling, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi said: “There is no basis upon which this matter can be allowed to jump the queue. I, therefore, refuse to deal with it on an urgent basis and accordingly the matter must proceed by ordinary application.”

Dadaya SDC through lawyers — Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners — last week filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court citing Dr Dokora and the school headmaster as respondents.

The parents sought an order suspending the use of the new curriculum at the school until proper consultations had been done. They argued that as key stakeholders, they were not consulted by the minister and they want the respondents to be permanently interdicted from effecting curriculum changes without consulting parents.

In his founding affidavit, the SDC chairperson, Mr Leopold Mudisi, argued that the implementation of the new curriculum compromised the education delivery system. He said the new curriculum was “an ambitious” project, which would unnecessarily burden teachers and compromise the future of learners.

“The overhaul of the curriculum is impractical. The learning time for conventional subjects was always not enough and thus to introduce new subjects is ambitious and sounds myopic. There are no qualified teachers at the school to teach the new subjects and inevitably it will affect the pupils’ performance,” said Mr Mudisi.

The parents said there was no way curriculum changes could be implemented without consultations since they were responsible for payment of school fees and the future of their children.

They also argued that it would be cumbersome for Dr Dokora to facilitate the school to acquire qualified teachers with requisite skills and knowledge overnight against a background of a huge Government wage bill.