Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will soon begin consulting stakeholders to review the curriculum whose mandate expires this year.
The program was implemented in 2015 following the recommendations of the Nziramasanga Commission created in 1998 under the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Education and Training (CIET).
The commission was chaired by Dr Caiphas Nziramasanga, a senior lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.
Delivering a keynote address at the National Association of Primary School Principals (Naph) annual conference in Victoria Falls, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Evelyne Ndlovu, said the United Nations had reported that Zimbabwe’s literacy levels had dropped from 95% to 93% since 2015 due to Covid-19 among other challenges.
She said the ministry is now doubling down on basic literacy and numeracy to alleviate this regression, especially for learners in disadvantaged schools.
“As you all know, our program has run its course, that is to say from 2015 to 2022 and it is now to be reviewed. In line with this, the ministry has interacted with all provinces to assess its implementation from 2015 to 2022. Soon, the ministry will involve all stakeholders in the country for their input,” Dr. Ndlovu said.
She said that school leaders have a role in mobilizing their schools and communities to participate in the review process.
“Your contribution will also be of the utmost importance since you are the people who implemented the program, so you know the positive aspects, towards its enrichment and where you think we should improve in the transformation of our education system” , said Dr. Ndlovu.
More than 1,200 school leaders attended the conference which started on Sunday and ended yesterday with the aim of sharing ideas and professional experiences under the theme: “Facing the future in the new normal”. .
This is the first physical meeting after the relaxation of health restrictions linked to Covid-19.
Dr Ndlovu said schools were among the institutions most affected by the pandemic as many cases were recorded.
She praised President Mnangagwa for successfully leading the nation through this episode and the schools for adhering to standard operating procedures, but cautioned against complacency as the pandemic lingers.
The government has introduced open, distance and remedial learning strategies in schools to ensure continuity of learning.
Dr Ndlovu said there was a need to ensure that infants mastered the four Rs, literally taken from ‘Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Literacy’ by his ministry as a deliberate system to improve learners’ literacy.
Dr Ndlovu reiterated the call for schools to adhere to established procedures when they intend to review tuition fees and levies.
This follows complaints from parents and stakeholders over the conduct of some schools which disregard the policy when reviewing tuition fees, bringing discredit and disrespect to the name of the ministry. .
Dr Ndlovu said education is a right and no child should be disadvantaged since the issue of school fees and levies is between the parent and the school.
She said no school is allowed to withhold a learner’s results for non-payment of fees.
No school should withdraw applicants’ results for any reason, Dr Ndlovu said.
“As the frontline managers of the ministry in the system, you are expected to embrace and be guided by key government plans such as the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and Vision 2030. It is therefore important that the sector of education plays its role as stated in the documents.
“Our education philosophy is rooted in Ubuntu/Unhu with a focus on science, technology and innovation (STI), human capital development and increased access to education, leaving no student behind. nor school behind.
You should therefore strive to ensure that this philosophy guides your curriculum implementation activities within the context of competency-based curriculum,” she said. — @ncubeleon