The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has revealed that members of the public have rejected Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) in its current form.
CALA was introduced in 2015 and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is currently conducting a curriculum review engaging stakeholders across the country.
In a statement, ARTUZ said the curriculum has proven to be both costly and time-consuming, hampering the educational progress of students.
“The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe consulted the public on their perceptions on Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) and 95 % of those that participated in the poll rejected CALA in its present form. 71% voted for their repeal and 24 % voted for them to reduced to one CALA per learner.
“Since their introduction in schools, CALAs have proven to be costly and time consuming thereby negatively affecting learners’ progress. Most CALAs require the use of the internet for research which then imposed costs of mobile data, laptops and mobile devices etc, on top the regularly hiking fees,” said ARTUZ.
The union argues that CALAs place an undue burden on students and their families, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“In a country we’re the majority of the citizens are living in poverty they widen the learning inequality gap as those from privileged backgrounds will the only ones that can afford to learn, paying particular attention to rural learners, majority of schools have inadequate digital learning facilities to enable students to carry out their Continuous Assessment Learning Activities.
“Therefore, as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is conducting a curriculum review, we found it right to invite citizens to give their views on the matter. It is the Union’s position that CLAS should be reformed in order to ensure effective learning in schools. We have even proposed this in our 2022 publications,” added the union.
ARTUZ emphasised the need for a more inclusive and accessible education system that caters to the needs of all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background.