Schools urged to adopt Early Learning Policy
MASVINGO–Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education permanent secretary Tumisang Thabelo has urged schools to adopt the Early Learning Policy introduced by the Government to impart requisite literacy and numerical competencies in pupils.
The policy strives to ensure that all pupils have literacy and numeracy competencies at a young age by allowing them access to quality and inclusive learning opportunities in conducive environments.
She said this on Friday last week at Victoria Government Junior School, where she was presenting the school with the 2020 Secretary’s Merit Award.
Thabela said the policy came on the backdrop of the Zimbabwe Early Learning Assessment conducted from 2021-2022, which showed that at least 20 per cent of pupils get into Grade 3 without the requisite literacy and numerical competencies.
“The country adopted the Early Learning Policy earlier this year to push for robust programming to ensure the optimal development of both literacies and numeracy that can best prepare our young pupils for a fruitful educational journey. We thus need to work extra hard to eliminate the over 20% of pupils that proceed to Grade 3 without the requisite literacy and numeracy competencies, as revealed in our Zimbabwe Early Learning Assessment for the past two years.
“Foundational Learning and the Development of the Early Learning Policy: The provision of early childhood education is one of the best investments that Zimbabweans can make in the promotion of the holistic development of its children. If we get the foundation right, the learning outcomes for children improve,” said Thabela.
Masvingo Provincial Education Director (PED), Shylatte Mhike, all seven Masvingo District Schools Inspectors (DSI), Masvingo District Development Coordinator (DDC) Roy Hove, and various stakeholders attended the event.
Thabela said that the curriculum is learner-centred and emphasises learner competencies over superficial knowledge, thereby exposing learners to hard and soft skills, which are requisite in solving problems.
She said projects by schools include poultry, rabbit rearing, and gardening are imparting practical skills to pupils from a tender age