CALA Scrapped, Replaced With School Based Projects

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere,
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The Government has, with immediate effect, scrapped the Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA), and replaced them with the new school-based projects of practical applications under the Heritage-Based Education 2024-2030.

The number of areas previously covered by CALA has been reduced from about eight to one for each subject.

Speaking after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting in Harare, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Jenfan Muswere, said learners in primary schools will now be offered a maximum of six learning areas instead of a minimum of 27, which they used to do, while Form 1 to 4 learners will have five compulsory learning areas.

Muswere said the Heritage-Based Education 2024-2030, received and approved by the Cabinet yesterday, was presented by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Amon Murwira, as the chairperson of the Cabinet Committee on Human Capital Development, Skills Development and Application. Said Muswere:

Pertinent issues in the learning programmes infrastructure include rationalisation of learning areas and strengthening the school-based continuous assessment.

At infant level (ECD A to Grade 2), learning areas are being reduced from the previous 11 to six.

The reduction will also apply at junior level in Grades 3 to 7. At secondary school level, the core and compulsory learning areas are being reduced from seven to five.

An inclusive and integrated approach will be used to cater for learners with special needs, including thorough provision of assistive devices.

Muswere said the emphasis of school-based projects will be on the learner being observed carrying out the practical aspects at school. He said:

Learners at secondary school level will study at least three electives from the following categories: the sciences, languages, humanities, commercials, technical and vocational, and physical education and arts.

The future of the country will increasingly be shaped by science and technology, hence the bias in the education system to foster critical thinking, innovation, creativity, problem-solving and programming.

Critics of CALA argued that the regime was unfair as learners in rural areas where there is limited internet connectivity and electricity were not able to compete with their peers in urban and peri-urban areas.

Muswere said the Government was prioritising the provision of adequate and appropriate infrastructure including classrooms, workshops, laboratories, internet connectivity, technical equipment and teachers’ houses to achieve the intended goals. He said:

The workshops and laboratories shall be tailor-made according to the unique geographical needs and locally available resources which learners can observe, manipulate and explore during their learning processes.

Access to electricity, either from the national grid or renewable sources of energy, will be a priority for every school.

This is to bridge the gap between the rural and urban schools. The focus will be more on learning by doing.