Government is reviewing the Continuous Assessment Learning Activity (CALA) following reports that some of the tasks and questions are too difficult for students.
This was revealed by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Evelyn Ndlovu during a Parliamentary Question and Answer session last week.
The Minister was responding to questioned posed by legislator Hon Watson.
“Then I do not understand how the CALA relate to those Grade 7 examinations.
“This is because it struck me looking at the Grade 7 questions from a primary school in Bulawayo, that even for a child in an urban environment frankly, they were very advanced questions; questions that, yes, if the child has access to the internet and research methods, it is possible that they could answer but even then, it will be difficult.
“So, I need the Hon. Minister to tell us how CALA tie to the Grade 7 examinations?
The Minister responded that Government is already looking into the subject.
“I would also like to assure Hon. Watson that we are actually reviewing the syllabus at the moment.
“We would like to have input from them, including the Hon. Member on how we can improve on this particular curriculum that we are using now to make sure that it suits the environment, the level of learning and so on.
“This is the answer that I can give for now but I will go back and examine if she gives me the particular school so that we see how the children performed against the questions that were there,” she said.
Many parents have raised concern at CALA citing various reasons for their disapproval.
A recent NewsDay survey in areas such as Mutoko, Guruve and Triangle revealed that most parents could not afford materials needed by children to successfully carry out Cala.
Parents said Cala’s expensive expectations were making it difficult for children to develop an interest in school.
Pumula legislator Sichelesile Mahlangu (Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) believes Cala should be scrapped.
“I agree with the residents who are advocating for the removal of the new curriculum as it has many requirements and parents cannot afford it. I confronted the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Evelyn Ndlovu, on the issue of Cala projects saying they required a lot of money, for example, printing expenses,” she said.
“The new curriculum is very selective as it favours privileged children, while children from poor backgrounds cannot afford to fund Cala projects.”
Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister Edgar Moyo said the new curriculum was implemented to give learners more technical skills, and to keep up with current times as Zimbabwe cannot remain behind in terms of technological advances.