Govt’s CALA Is A Scam
24 May 2023
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By Dorrothy Moyo | Parents who attended the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s two-day Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) curriculum review consultation workshops stated the CALA should be eliminated since they are difficult for students to learn.

Players in the education sector began holding discussions on Monday as part of the effort to evaluate the curriculum.

Parents and guardians were invited to express their opinions on the CALA yesterday.

They claimed that CALA must be eliminated since many students come from underprivileged backgrounds and find it difficult to accomplish the necessary tasks.

Some claimed that because they have network issues and lack internet connectivity, they are more challenging for students from remote locations.

CALA are quite expensive, according to Mrs. Patricia Manzini, a parent of three students at Thomas Rudland Primary School.

She claimed that as a result, the education of underprivileged students was now in jeopardy.

As it is, we are unable to afford even a necessity like bread, and everyone is aware of the current state of the nation.

The CALA mandates that students conduct research and print out various materials that will be required for filing.

As Mrs. Manzini noted, “It really adds up, and parents select things that seem to be more necessary, like food, instead of spending money on these papers that need to be produced.

Mrs. Sophia Musinazano, another parent, stated that CALA problems were not only a problem for students in rural regions who had trouble with connectivity while conducting their research, but they were also a problem for students living in metropolitan areas who had trouble with money issues when completing their projects.

She claimed that as a result, students forfeit the 30% they would have received if they had independently studied and prepared for tests.

If the government is interested in doing this, it should install free, limitless WiFi in all schools and permit students to bring their iPhones to class. They can all do their work in this manner.

“In order for those who live in rural areas to receive the same benefits, network boosters must be deployed. The CALAs should be eliminated if that cannot be accomplished, according to Mrs. Musinazano.

The competence-based curriculum is being reevaluated after its first seven-year cycle, which began in 2015 and ended last year.

The curriculum aims to equip students with the knowledge and abilities they will need to thrive in the technologically advanced 21st century.

Professor Lwazi Sibanda, an expert in education and executive dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology Education at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), claimed in an interview that the competence-based curriculum has ushered in a new generation of skilled learners who don’t just memorise theories to pass exams.

She claimed that the education industry must address the problems with CALA while evaluating the curriculum.

“The CALA issue needs to be addressed because it is common to find that parents complete assignments rather than students. The students are the ones who should be carrying out this task independently, according to her.

“Unlike what we are seeing currently, the issue of ongoing assessment needs to be clearly stated out. The way that parents and guardians are behaving is as though they are the ones learning. There are various banners in the streets where people will advertise that they complete CALA assignments.

According to Prof. Sibanda, CALA should foster students’ creativity, but this cannot happen if parents and guardians complete the homework.

She claimed that curriculum evaluations are essential to balancing planned goals with actual results and staying current with global trends.

“The curriculum revision is crucial so that as a country we can adopt the latest educational ideas from around the world. Education is not static; it is dynamic. Therefore, we must maintain it in step with international trends to ensure that our students obtain the skills they need to succeed in life, she said.

“The hands-on approach used in the curriculum is a positive development. The competence-based curriculum addresses the competencies that students possess when they graduate from school. In contrast to the former situation, where students were required to memorise theories, it promotes learners to have abilities.

According to Prof. Sibanda, the ministry will be able to hear from all the stakeholders in education thanks to the stakeholder consultations.- Stare Media/Additional Reporting