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Education Ministry told to drop CALA

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Education Ministry told to drop CALA


Trymore Tagwirei

MASVINGO-Stakeholders in Masvingo have urged the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to do away with the Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) in the 2023-2030 curriculum.
The parents made the plea during a curriculum review consultation meeting at Better Schools Programmes of Zimbabwe (BSPZ) yesterday. The 2023-2030 curriculum will replace the 2015-2022 curriculum.
Government provincial heads of departments, Masvingo Provincial Education Director (PED) Shylatte Mhike and Director of Communications and Advocacy in the Ministry of Education Taungana Ndoro attended the meeting.
A parent, Joel Sibanda, said CALA only piles more pressure and work on pupils and recommended that the Ministry forgoes CALA in the new curriculum.
Under the CALA program, pupils complete practical assignments after classes.
Another parent said teachers are milking them for supervising. In some instances, parents do the CALAs for their children. Some said pupils are spending all their time doing CALAs and no longer have time to study for examinations.
Ndoro, however, told the meeting that CALAs are continuous and complement the summative learning model marked after years of studying.
He said CALAs are research and problem based and teach learners practical skills such as data gathering, originality and problem-solving.
He also highlighted that contrary to popular beliefs, CALAs should be spread across six school terms from Grade 6 and not bundled in one term to pile pressure on students and parents alike.
“CALAs are cost-free, and parents cripple their children’s creativity if they continue doing CALAs for them. The stipulated standard is that pupils do one CALA a term when they get into Grade 6 to avoid piling pressure on them once they are in Grade 7.
“Some would have forgotten what they learnt after a couple of years but can implement it practically, and they are awarded marks for that. He said the Ministry will deal with teachers, who are bundling pupils with CALAs at once or charging parents to do CALAs for students,” said Ndoro.
Masvingo District Schools Inspector (DSI) Ishmael Chigaba said pupils are there to get skills from CALAs, and he discouraged parents from doing CALAs for their children.

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