New curriculum to stay: Mavima

HARARE - Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima is adamant that the new curriculum will stay amid strong objections from teachers.

At a curriculum review meeting organised by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe yesterday, Mavima said unless learners are taught critical thinking skills, the country cannot compete on the global market.

The review meeting comes at a time when the 2018 first term is about to start on January 9 amid complaints from both teachers and parents that the new curriculum should be scrapped as there is a high potential of failure in the 2018 examinations.

“Our objective is to have a competence-based curriculum so that we create the competencies and skills that are required to move our country forward,” Mavima said.

“When everything is said and done, there are certain skills that we are pushing for. We are looking for a learner who when they go through their studies, can look at a problem and start seeing solutions to them. The whole idea of innovation starts at infant level in countries like China.

“We cannot be stuck in the 20th century when things are moving so fast now. We cannot train children for jobs we do not know if they will still be around in the future, but what you can train for is someone who can quickly adapt and offer themselves as value creators in any job situation they find themselves. That is the type of thing we are pushing for as far as this curriculum is concerned.”

He said the previous system that pushed mainly content was obsolete and there was a need to recast some issues to allow critical thinking.

Educationist Josiphat Gwezhira said if the issue of tasks and projects was not scrapped this year, there was a high chance that 2018 would have the highest number of failures.

Gwezhira told the Daily News that the problem was that teachers in training colleges and universities were still being trained in the old curriculum.

He said the teachers themselves do not understand what they are teaching yet are expected to impart knowledge to pupils.