The Continuous Assessment Learning Activity (CALA) has turned into a cash cow for teachers who are being paid to award more marks to candidates, while others are writing coursework on behalf of pupils, The Manica Post has established.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, through the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC), introduced CALA this year as a candidate assessment procedure that requires pupils to perform, demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and proficiency in their learning areas before the main exam.
Under the regime, ZIMSEC candidates’ academic aptitude is assessed continuously (coursework) to contribute 30 percent to their final marks.
Summative or knowledge skills assessed during examinations contribute 70 percent to the candidate’s final grade.
External candidates wishing to sit for their exams this year have to approach their examination centres for assessment.
However, a two-week investigation by this newspaper into how CALA was being implemented in schools revealed that rogue elements within the education sector were charging varying amounts to candidates willing to get high coursework marks.
Apart from being paid to award more marks, some teachers were being paid to write the coursework on behalf of candidates.
During the investigation, this reporter negotiated and paid US$10 to a Grade Seven teacher at a Sakubva school to write the coursework for a candidate purported to be under his (the reporter’s) guardianship.