Continuous Assessment Woes Continue As Cala Research Predators Emerge

Teachers have raised alarm over ordinary members of the community who are demanding cash from desperate students to assist them on Continuous Assessment Learning Activity (Cala) research.

Cala requires students to carry out academic projects and tasks, which will constitute 30% of their coursework per subject for the final Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) exams.

Adoption of Cala has been affected by the limited time left to complete both the main syllabi and the Cala projects. This has forced some Zimsec 2021 candidates to seek assistance from ordinary community members. Instead of just helping the students, some community members asked for help are charging between US$10 and $20 for the services.

"A group of people have emerged that demand US$10 for Grade 7 research and US$20 for secondary school Cala projects. The process has been marred with confusion because of limited time," Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said.

"The whole essence of Cala is the blending of theory and practical experience. But because of limited time, students have embarked on hiring other people and unemployed teachers to do this for them. Are we assessing pupils? Government must listen."

Government turn a deaf ear when teachers called for the postponement of the programme, arguing that students had limited time to complete the syllabi after the COVID-19 disruptions. Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister Edgar Moyo recently told NewsDay that Cala was a very important assessment tool for the new competence-based curriculum which could not be withdrawn.

Zimbabwe Teachers National Union chief executive Manuel Nyawo said that government should at least pardon this year’s candidates who were struggling to catch up with the syllabi.

"Students are hard pressed as they are struggling to catch up with their unfinished syllabus while at the same time battling with the newly-introduced Calas which are still little known even to their own teachers,” he said.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Masaraure described Cala implementation in schools a nightmare.

"The Cala initiative is the worst nightmare being endured by learners and teachers," he said. "The results for this year won’t be a true reflection of learners’ exit profile, but a big lie to mask the crisis in the education sector."

Source : Newsday

Sydney Chako

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Sytech Learning Academy. From Junior Secondary School to Tertiary Level Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Science.

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