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THE PREPAREDNESS OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS TO IMPLEMENT THE GRADE 3 NEW CURRICULUM IN ZIMBABWE: CASE STUDY OF BULAWAYO METROPOLITAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Hwande Esau; John Mpofu

World over, a national curriculum that is contextually relevant to the evolving needs of a nation is highly regarded as one of the essential drivers of a country’s socio-economic development. Every nation therefore strives to ensure that its educational curriculum is in tandem with its developmental needs. The goal behind the commissioning of the Nziramasanga Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Education and Training (CIET) in 1998 was to come up with an educational curriculum that is relevant to the socio-economic challenges obtaining in Zimbabwe. The CIET Report of 1999 recommended a shift from a predominately theoretical curriculum to a hands-on curriculum that emphasizes the development of vocational technical skills. The CIET Report of 1999 got political approval and adoption 13 years later at a ZANU PF party conference in Chinhoyi (The Standard, 13/12/2013). The period 2014 to 2016 saw bureaucrats in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) translating the CIET Report: 1999 into policy by designing the new curriculum and preparing the relevant teaching-learning inputs (Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education:2015-2022 / CFPSE, 2015-2022). According to the MoPSE, all the relevant preparations were done and schools were in a position to implement the new curriculum with effect from January 2017. On the contrary, some sectors of the Zimbabwean society like, the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) were insinuating that schools were ill prepared for the implementation (News Day Zimbabwe: 09/01/17). The Dadaya High School (SDC) challenged the introduction of the new curriculum in the High Court alleging parents were not consulted and schools were not prepared (The Herald: 15/02/17). This background and the managerial principle that curriculum implementation should be closely monitored to ensure it remains on course (Ahmadi and Lukman, 2015) gave birth to this study.

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