Teachers are still reportedly failing to interpret the syllabi of the competence-based curriculum five years after it was introduced.
A review by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has observed that the 2017 syllabus was facing a number of challenges in implementation because of inadequate funding and a lack of understanding by both teachers and learners.
PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said in the report:
The syllabus interpretation is still a big problem for most teachers.
Five years after the curriculum was activated, there are still arguments over which topics are in the syllabus. This is because in some instances, Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) examinations are bringing questions for topics that are not in the syllabus, or not in their correct sections.
There is a need to train teachers on syllabus interpretation. The assumption that all is well has actually sunk the education sector.
The new curriculum is due for review on Monday but the PTUZ urged authorities to “consult as widely as possible.”
However, Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Taungana Ndoro told NewsDay Weekender that “The competence-based curriculum was well-received and we are happy that it has already borne some fruits.”
He added that the government continues to take measures to ensure that both learners and teachers have the necessary tools that enhance the success of the competence-based curriculum.
PTUZ was one of the stakeholders who opposed the “premature” implementation of the ICT-based curriculum citing the digital gap between urban and rural schools.
The New Curriculum was recommended by the Nziramasanga Commission in 1999 and was implemented in 2017 during the tenure of former Minister Lazarus Dokora.
Some e-readiness assessments conducted in between suggested that the country was not ready to implement the curriculum and to undertake e-government.