Zimbabweans Blast Continuous Assessment Leaning Activities in Education

Education stakeholders have blasted the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s decision to proceed with Continuous Assessment Leaning Activities (CALA) for the 2021 examination classes (Grade 7, Form 4 and Form 6).

However, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond Majongwe has blasted CALA, saying teachers are too incapacitated to wholeheartedly cover the syllabus as well as oversee the CALA researches and assessment.

"The Ministry is setting itself up for a huge but unnecessary embarrassment by chewing more than can be swallowed at this point in time. We still maintain that CALAs should be postponed to next year and be written by the next group of candidates.

"To put matters into perspective, a Grade 7 candidate who is writing six subjects this year will do eighteen CALAs before the end of October, while an A Level candidate will do at least nine and an "O" Level candidate, writing five subjects will do fifteen," complained Majongwe.

Not only are teachers too incapacitated to be worrying about continuous assessment, there is too little time left to meet the work load that comes with continuous assessment, says National Association of School Heads (NASH) president Arthur Maphosa.

"The teachers are expected to mark twenty-seven CALAs per learner multiplied by forty learners within two months. Worse still at a high school some teachers teach two learning areas. This is not possible," said Maphosa.

Zimbabwe National Union of School Heads (ZINUSH) secretary general Munyaradzi Majoni said that insisting on CALAs in the 2021 ZIMSEC session is disastrous.

"It’s a decision which is all wrong and hugely uninformed by what is on the ground. We are in schools and I can tell you with absolute certainty that any attempt to bulldoze CALAs this year will be disastrous," said Majoni.

Education Union of Zimbabwe (EUZ) secretary general Tapedza Zhou views the MOPSE decision as insensitive and incompetent, given the Covid-19 situation.

"MOPSE’s persistence that CALA should continue is an insensitive and incompetent decision. The world over, responsible authorities have put down mitigatory measures in view of the decimating Covid 19 pandemic in various ways.

"In our case, this resulted in the introduction of a compressed syllabus. Paradoxically, a compressed syllabus is then immediately followed by CALAs which just revives back the stress for the student and teacher, which had been avoided in the first place," said Zhou.

Zhou warned that if MOPSE insisted with CALAs, there is likely to be a lot of cheating, with CALAs being sold in the streets.

A high school teacher who preferred anonymity said CALAs are a huge burden on learners whose main focus, at this time should be preparing for the upcoming exams.

"CALAs are a huge burden on learners whose main focus, at this time should be preparing for the upcoming exams. For a learner doing eight subjects to be expected to complete twenty-four CALAs at a time when learning time was disrupted by Covid 19 induced lockdown is simply asking for too much.

"Teachers are also ill prepared for CALAs, after so much teaching and learning time was lost, teachers must be focused on completing their syllabi and preparing learners for exams," he said.

A ZIMSEC ‘A’ level student also echoed the same sentiments.

"The CALAs came too late as there is so much to cover. Some CALAs require students to go out into the community to investigate of which due to Covid 19, it is now difficult to go into households," she said.

Source : 263Chat


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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