The Ministry of Education should obtain the buy-in of teachers on the new curriculum and should equip them with the necessary tools and skills to enable them to successfully implement the new curriculum because teachers are one of the most critical components of a well-functioning educational system.
This was said today by Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai secretary for education Heneri Dzinotyiwei who himself was a professor at the University of Zimbabwe for years.
Dzinotyiwei was Minister of Science and Technology Development during the inclusive government.
The government introduced a new curriculum this year and it seems Education Minister Lazarus Dokora did not carry out enough consultations and is bulldozing the curriculum over teachers and schools that were not adequately prepared or equipped for the new curriculum.
Dzinotyiwei today highlighted some developments which he felt might assist on agreement on the way forward.
Below is his full statement:
Thursday, 23 February 2017
Statement on Zimbabwe's new School Curriculum
There has been a wide range of comments, mostly concerns, about the New School Curriculum that is being introduced in Zimbabwe. It is not clear what the way forward will be, but the responsible Ministry seems to be arguing for proceeding with implementation. Below I highlight some of the developments that the public may need to note and hopefully this may assist on agreement on the way forward.
There is world-wide interest to review curricula, possibly even more regularly than Zimbabwe has done so far. In recent years, many countries have done so due to the following influences:
- Advances in Science and Technology have generated a large stock of new results available to accelerate innovations particularly those that can lead to productive activities and hence accelerate creation of new employment. This has led to the focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), as areas that need greater emphasis in study to prepare pupils to learn and exploit such results. The preferred approach in studying the subjects tends to be investigative to allow pupils to develop independent abilities to learn more even without the teacher and, more so, on completion of formal study. With mounting pressure to generate more employment for the youth, this is a positive initiative by the education sector.
- Second is the advancement specifically in IT, which has generated several new ways of acquiring information by the pupil, often independent of the teacher. Indeed some hard-working pupils may very well get to read and understand some issues beyond the teacher. This calls for a new relationship between the pupil and the teacher. To keep this under control many see the pupil partnering with the parent in that interaction with the teacher. No one is certain of the overall impact that IT advancement will have on this relationship. However, what is certain is that new IT ideas will continue to come and through consultation, the nature of the teacher-pupil-parent collaboration will have to evolve.
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