Zimbabwe Profiles Education,Guides From CALA to School-Based Projects: What Parents and Students Need to Know

From CALA to School-Based Projects: What Parents and Students Need to Know

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Here Is What You Need to Know About the School-Based Projects Replacing the Unpopular CALA Curriculum

Once upon a time, in the heart of Zimbabwe, there was a curriculum named CALA that aimed to revolutionize the education system. But like a plot twist in a captivating novel, it faced challenges and criticism, leading to a new chapter in the country’s educational journey. The government has now introduced school-based projects, a fresh approach designed to enhance practical learning and reduce the burden on students and teachers alike. Here’s everything you need to know about this significant change.

A Shift from CALA to School-Based Projects

The Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) curriculum, introduced around 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed to provide a continuous assessment approach to learning. However, it faced numerous challenges, including overburdening students with more than 27 CALAs in some grades and a lack of proper infrastructure and training for effective implementation​​​​.

Responding to these concerns, the government has decided to replace CALA with school-based projects. These projects focus on practical applications, reducing the number of non-examination areas from about eight to one for each subject.

According to the Herald, Primary school learners will now have a maximum of six learning areas, while Form 1 to 4 learners will have five compulsory areas​​.

From CALA to School-Based Projects: What Parents and Students Need to Know

[Image Credit: Mukuvisi Woodlands In Harare]

Emphasis on Heritage-Based Education

The new approach aligns with the Heritage-Based Education 2024-2030 policy, which emphasizes rationalizing learning areas and strengthening school-based continuous assessment. The curriculum aims to foster critical thinking, innovation, creativity, and problem-solving skills, with a particular focus on science and technology. It also introduces an inclusive and integrated approach to cater to learners with special needs​​.

Vocationalization of Education

One of the key objectives of the revised curriculum is to vocationalize education. By the time a learner completes Ordinary Level, they should be able to provide goods and services needed in society. This shift aims to equip students with practical skills, such as vehicle manufacturing and housing plan drafting, to enhance their employability and entrepreneurial capabilities​​.

Infrastructure and Connectivity Enhancements

To support the new curriculum, the government is prioritizing the provision of adequate infrastructure, including classrooms, workshops, laboratories, and internet connectivity. “Internet in the box” will be introduced, especially in rural areas, to provide server-based access to learning materials without data costs. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between rural and urban schools and facilitate a more hands-on learning experience​​​​.

Legal and Regulatory Framework

The implementation of the Heritage-Based Education Curriculum requires a review of the legal and regulatory framework. This includes aligning the curriculum with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and ensuring that no place or individual is left behind in the education system. Continuous harmonization of the primary, secondary, and higher education curriculums is also planned​​.

The transition from CALA to school-based projects marks a significant shift in Zimbabwe’s education system. It aims to provide a more practical and manageable approach to learning, with a focus on vocational skills and technological proficiency. As these changes unfold, it will be interesting to see how they shape the future of education in Zimbabwe. Will this new chapter lead to a brighter future for the nation’s students?

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