Abigail Mawonde and Talent Chimutambgi
Cabinet has approved the draft framework on the education curriculum, paving way for the implementation of major changes in the primary and secondary education system in line with modern trends.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora said at a Press conference yesterday that following the endorsement, they would start by producing syllabi restructuring Grade Seven and Ordinary Level subjects.
Phase one of the implementation of such changes will begin next year.
“The Zero Draft Curriculum Framework was presented to Cabinet on September 22, 2015 and was endorsed on the same (day),” said Minister Dokora.
“Now that the Zero Draft Curriculum Framework was endorsed by the Cabinet, my ministry will proceed to produce subject syllabi, restructuring of Grade Seven General Paper to include Agriculture and development of specimen papers for Grade Seven and Ordinary Level.”
Minister Dokora said an audit would be undertaken on the readiness of the schools’ infrastructure to implement the new education system.
“In January 2016, phase one implementation on continuous, practical and assessment will begin,” he said.
“In January 2017, phase two teacher capacity building started in phase one continues and audit of infrastructure capacity to handle teaching and learning of technical vocational subjects and design takes place.
“On my own behalf and on behalf of the whole ministry, I am very grateful to Cabinet and His Excellency President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde R.G Mugabe for endorsing the Zero Draft Curriculum Framework which now constitutes the new education system.”
The Zero Draft Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education is an education blueprint meant to guide learning and teaching standards in the country’s education sector.
The aims of the new curriculum include motivating learners to cherish their Zimbabwean identity and value their heritage, history and cultural tradition and preparing them for participatory citizenship.
It will also prepare learners for life and work in an indigenised economy and increasingly globalised and competitive environment and ensuring learners demonstrate desirable literacy and numeracy skill, including practical competences necessary for life.
Other aims of the new system are preparing and orienting learners for participation in voluntary service and leadership and fostering life-long learning in line with the emerging opportunities and challenges of the knowledge society.
Minister Dokora said the draft curriculum framework was anchored on five pillars which include legislative and regulatory framework meant to give a guide on how teachers should work and teacher capacity development meant to upgrade the teachers’ knowledge base and skills in an ever changing world and technological advancement.
Other pillars are; teachers professional standards meant to professionalise the teaching sector which will bar the deployment of unqualified teachers, infrastructure development which will see more schools being constructed and centre for education, research, innovation and development for policy development and research in education, to continue improving service delivery.
Minister Dokora said the paradigm shift from the previous curriculum was meant to capture the recommendations of the Inquiry into Education and Training of 1999 and the sentiments of the public during the consultation exercises.