Chamisa’s MDC Bemoans Worsening Education Standards

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By Mandipa Masenyama

THE MDC Alliance has bemoaned the worsening education system in Zimbabwe highlighting adding the “half-baked learning curriculum” was affecting the learners.

The opposition said the situation was worsened by the government’s failure to pay teachers reasonable salaries and improve their working conditions.

In a statement, the MDC Alliance education secretary, Evelyn Masaiti said the government had neglected the plight of both teachers and learners as there was an under-investment that needed to be addressed urgently.

“Under-investment in infrastructure, poor remuneration for teachers and a half-baked curriculum has made Information Computer Technology (ICT) a key element of the curriculum yet 80% of primary and 65% of secondary schools are not electrified,’’ said Masaiti.

She urged the government to increase the budgetary allocation to cater for the Continuous Assessment Learning activities (CALA) as its hurried nature burdened teachers, learners, and parents.

“There is, therefore, a need to increase the budgetary allocation for CALA, develop uniform CALA assessment tools, train teachers effectively on administering CALA, and reduce CALA tasks before its effective implementation.

“We demand greater investment in quality public education, the setting of benchmarks for a skills revolution in the education sector by blending theory and life experience and providing life skills that can assist students to function beyond the classroom,’’ Musaiti added.

She highlighted how the credibility of public examinations was under threat and advised the government to resolve the impasse between the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) and teachers over the invigilation of public examinations.

“We urge the regime in Harare to speedily resolve the impasse between ZIMSEC and teachers over the issue of invigilation of public examinations. In the interest of enhancing the credibility of ZIMSEC as an examination board it is important to close leakages that have become a perennial challenge,’’ Masaiti added.

The opposition politician said the growing discontent in teachers was a result of the government’s failure to address their grievances by failing to pay teachers decent salaries.

“The absence of dialogue and meaningful collective bargaining have worsened the crisis in the education system with teachers systematically receiving salaries far less than other civil servants,’’ Masaiti said.