The Herald, 5 September 1985
THE Ministry of Education attaches great importance to the quality and training of teachers because they are destined to play a notable role in the development and transformation of society, the secretary for education Dr Elijah Chanakira, said in Harare yesterday.
He was closing a three-day workshop for teacher education guidelines at the Belvedere Teachers’ College.
“Our education system is at crossroads as we are actively engaged in the process of changing our curriculum in a bid to ensure that majority culture becomes the basis of a new system, which should facilitate the achievement of a socialist State.”
Dr Chanakira said socialism had become the major focus of post-independent education in the country and therefore all teachers had to understand the cultural norms, beliefs and national identities of the majority.
Teachers should be instrumental to the re-orientation towards a new social order.
“This means that teachers require more sociology, social psychology, politics, contemporary history and education with production based on Zimbabwe culture and experience,” he told the participants.
Dr Chanakira said he hoped the guidelines discussed at the workshop would include valuable cultural aspects because a nation without culture would never be respected internationally.
The chairman of the Associate College Centre Dr Ben Siyakwazi, said the workshop was organised to identify problems and make recommendations to a committee that reviewed teacher education.
Among the recommendations made were the allocation of funds for the teaching of practical subjects through the provision of work-rooms at schools.
Also, they agreed that more time should be given to the actual implementation of education with production and that people should respect manual labour at schools.
LESSONS FOR TODAY
An educational powerhouse on the continent, Zimbabwe has since independence carried out curriculum reforms in order to move with the times. During the early years of independence, education with production was a major focus. But since 2017, Government started implementing a competence-based curriculum, which was the result of research and consultations.
The late Dr Chanakira was permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education that combined both primary and secondary education and, higher and tertiary education. But the two have since been separated and are headed by different ministers and secretaries.
Lecturers at teachers’ colleges have always been vehicles in crafting guidelines for any curriculum reform process.
Apart from teacher training colleges, higher and tertiary education institutions are also producing teachers for the country’s education system, in line with the relevant curriculum.
Information and communication technologies have had a major impact on how the competence-based curriculum can be implemented. The Covid-19 pandemic might also result in another curriculum review.