Mixed feelings over new curriculum, ZiG school fees

10 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Mixed feelings over new curriculum, ZiG school fees Parents waiting to pay school fees for their children at Chancellor Junior School this week

The ManicaPost

 

Ray Bande and Tendai Gukutikwa

THERE were mixed feelings over the introduction of the Heritage-based curriculum effected on Tuesday when schools opened for the second term, while payment of fees in the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency was accepted in some schools it was resisted in others.

Government recently introduced the Heritage-Based Education 2024 to 2030 Curriculum Framework, which is expected to transform the education system to produce citizens with relevant skills aligned to national development.

The Heritage-Based Education 2024 to 2030 Curriculum, which will not affect this year’s examination classes, is replacing the Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA).

Under the guidelines of the Heritage-Based Education 2024 to 2030 Curriculum, Ordinary Level learners will now take a maximum of eight subjects — five of which are compulsory and three of their own choice — while a ceiling of four subjects has been set for Advanced Level.

In Forms One to Four, all learners will study five core and compulsory learning areas: (1) Mathematics (ii) English Language (iii) Indigenous Language and Literature (iv) Combined Science (v) Heritage Studies.

In addition, learners also study at least three necessary electives.

A check by this newspaper revealed that some Form Three learners who are now undertaking compulsory five and optional three learning areas under the new Heritage-Based Curriculum are now forced to drop practical subjects.

For example, a learner, who is now undertaking five compulsory learning area and opts to add Sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology), is now forced to drop the practical learning area such as Fashion and Fabrics, Building or Metal Work, since the maximum number of subjects one can undertake at Ordinary Level has been pegged at eight.

The Heritage-Based Curriculum is not affecting the current examination classes, (Forms Four and Six), who are continuing with their CALA Curriculum, but Forms Three and Five are undertaking the new curriculum guidelines.

Meanwhile, several schools were this week reluctant to accept the new ZiG currency in fees payment, employing some delaying tactics and flimsy excuses such as defects on transaction gadgets.

However, in a commendable move, some schools in Manicaland were accepting local currency, aligning with Government’s directive.

Government’s directive for schools to accept the local currency aims to promote the use of local currency and ease the financial burdens on parents.

This development brought relief to parents who predominantly earn their salaries in ZiG, with them expressing gratitude for the convenient payment option.

As more schools implement this option, it is hoped that the use of local currency will become more widespread, promoting financial inclusivity and convenience for all.

A check by The Manica Post revealed that Chancellor Junior School is among the institutions leading the way in implementing this convenient payment option.

In interviews conducted as parents paid their school fees on Monday and Tuesday, parents expressed gratitude for the development, citing the challenges they faced when forced to pay school fees in foreign currency.

Mr Obey Hove, a parent at Chancellor Junior School, expressed relief, saying, “We are happy to pay our children’s school fees in ZiG because most of us are being paid in ZiG.”
Another parent, Mrs Marjory Madhende, echoed the sentiment, saying, “I am glad that I was able to pay my child’s fees in ZiG. I paid part of it in USD and the rest in ZiG.”

Chancellor Junior School’s head, Mr Masimba Chihowa, confirmed the positive response from parents, stating, “We are very happy that our parents were coming in their numbers to pay school fees. They are paying in all currencies that are operational in Zimbabwe and they are all happy.”

This move has, not only eased the financial burden on parents, but also promoted the use of local currency, aligning with Government’s directive.

However, not all schools have implemented this option.

St Dominic’s High School and Baring Primary School were still awaiting the return of their swipe machines, which were taken for configuration during the ZWL era.

Rujeko Primary School in Dangamvura was turning parents who wanted to pay their fees in ZiG away.

Parents at Baring Primary School were turned away, with the receptionist explaining: “We are still waiting for the machines to come back. We can only allow ZiG payments when they arrive. We are also waiting patiently, so please bear with us.”

During a recent interview, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Moses Mhike emphasised that schools must accept payments in ZiG.

He stated: “Schools are mandated to incorporate ZiG into the multi-currency system prevailing in the country. It is imperative for school authorities to adhere to the directive issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe regarding the introduction of the new currency.”

Mr Mhike underscored that accepting ZiG as legal tender is, not optional, but obligatory, as it is part of the array of currencies accepted.

 

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