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Govt scraps Cala, introduces school based projects

by Bustop TV News

The Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) have been discontinued with immediate effect and replaced with new school-based projects focused on practical applications in a reduced number of learning areas. 

CALA was introduced during the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, when many teachers were not adequately trained to effectively manage it. 

Under the new system, primary school learners will now focus on a maximum of six learning areas, down from the previous minimum of 27, while Form 1 to 4 students will have five compulsory learning areas.

The Heritage-Based Education 2024-2030 was approved during a recent Cabinet meeting in Harare, presented by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development. 

“Important aspects of the education program infrastructure involve streamlining learning areas and enhancing school-based continuous assessment.

“In the early grades (ECD A to Grade 2), the number of learning areas is being reduced from 11 to six. This reduction will also be implemented in the intermediate grades (Grades 3 to 7). In secondary school, the core and mandatory learning areas are being reduced from seven to five. 

“An inclusive and integrated approach will be adopted to support students with special needs, including comprehensive provision of assistive devices,” Minister Jenfan Muswere said.

The revised curriculum aims to streamline learning areas, enhance school-based continuous assessment, and provide a more inclusive approach for learners with special needs.

Secondary school students will have the opportunity to study at least three electives in various categories, with a focus on fostering critical thinking, innovation, and problem-solving skills.

“At the secondary school level, students will be required to choose a minimum of three elective subjects from a range of categories including sciences, languages, humanities, commerce, technical and vocational studies, and physical education and arts.

“The education system is leaning towards fostering critical thinking, innovation, creativity, problem-solving, and programming skills as the future of the country is expected to be heavily influenced by advancements in science and technology,” said Muswere.

Teacher training will be a key component of implementing the new curriculum, with an emphasis on inquiry-based teaching methods to promote creativity and holistic development. 

“The inquiry-based teaching approaches and the methods pillar aims to transform teaching practices from the traditional rote learning, lecture and drill to more learner-centred approaches where pupils have space to develop their creativity, to develop and express their ideas, to collaborate with one another, to learn by doing and thereby experience holistic development,” said Muswerwe.

Additionally, individuals with technical and vocational qualifications will be considered for teaching positions in learning areas. 

“This is anticipated to boost the enrollment of post O-Level students in higher education institutions in the country and serve as the groundwork for entrepreneurial students to establish their own start-ups. 

“Adequate physical and digital infrastructure will be made available to support these initiatives,” he said.

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