By NQOBANI NDLOVU/ LORRAINE MUROMO
TEACHERs unions have accused the Primary and Secondary Education ministry of employing a “command” and “haphazard” approach in implementing the new examination model, starting with the ongoing workshops for educators across the country without providing for their food and transport needs.
Government in March announced plans to introduce a new examination model which includes continuous assessment and examination marks for the final 2021 Grade 7, Form 4 and Upper Sixth learners.
Under the model, final year students will be assessed on different aptitudes such as knowledge, skills, abilities, values and trends to ascertain the achievement of desired learner exit profiles.
However, it is not clear how marks will be allocated under the Continuous Assessment Framework (CAF), which was announced after the release of poor 2020 Grade 7 results.
As part of the implementation of the CAF model, the ministry early this week began rolling out workshops across the country, but without any budgetary support to cater for meals and travelling allowances for attendees.
“They were not promised, but administratively, they have a right to expect (allowances) as that is government’s standard practice. The Public Service Act sets out these legitimate expectations,” Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou added that CAF was a recipe for failure as teachers were already too poor to be burdened with extra expenses.
“The truth that must be said to level-headed Zimbabweans is that, in spite of the fact that CAF is a brilliant programme, it cannot be implemented by incapacitated teachers, without a budgetary allocation, without adequate pilot projects and broad engagement with teachers, and in a command, haphazard, muddling and meddling through,” argued Zhou.
The ministry has reportedly called for total compliance with CAF for every learner before schools close on June 4. Teachers have, however, pleaded incapacitation and are reporting for work twice or thrice per week.
“The earlier we abandon the attempt and concentrate on capacitation of teachers, syllabus coverage under previous conditions, preparation for CAF proper implementation in three years’ time and resource mobilisation for its successful implementation would be best for the country,” Zhou added.
He argued that education was not a terrain for weird experimentation.
Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Taungana Ndoro yesterday defended the “unplanned” training workshops as necessary to enable teachers to understand CAF.
“We are holding workshops to bring them up to speed with the framework,” Ndoro said without responding to allegations that CAF workshops were rushed, unplanned and burdensome.
A ministry document on the new education strategy argues that CAF will accord teachers and facilitators the opportunity to participate fully in the assessment of their learners to prepare them for different roles in society and the real world of work.
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