School heads urged to push innovation based curriculum Minister Evelyn Ndlovu

Trust Freddy Herald Correspondent

School heads must take the competence based curriculum seriously for the benefit of learners as the nation drives towards achieving an upper middle income society by 2030, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Evelyn Ndlovu has said.

Speaking at the Maranatha Christian High’s victory celebrations held at Heritage Village on Friday to mark the school’s continental achievements in innovation competitions, Dr Ndlovu said students should aspire to be employers, not employees.

The celebrations were held in honour of Hekima Inc, the school’s innovation team company, which scooped four continental awards last year in Nigeria after developing a unique and innovative learning application that is adaptable to any setting.

The team is now gunning for De La Vega Good Global Entrepreneurship Award whose competitions will be held virtually next month.

Aptly known as Studdy Buddie app, the learning application, which simply requires one to have an android device to access educational material, charmed Dr Ndlovu.

Enticed by the application, Dr Ndlovu urged other schools to take a leaf from Maranatha Christian High’s team, as the world goes digital.

“Your pragmatic and practical, hands-on innovation surely dovetails with competence based curriculum model and as your Minister, I challenge other heads to take this model seriously for the benefit of our learners,” Dr Ndlovu said in a speech read on her behalf by Harare Metropolitan Province Education Director, Mr Joram Mupunza.

“I have no doubt that with this entrepreneurial approach to education, students will be empowered as self employers.”

After realising how Covid-19 ravaged the education system and widened the gap between rural and urban areas, the young entrepreneurs invented the learning application.

As the nation faces another Covid-19 threat, Dr Ndlovu said the Studdy Buddie App will go a long way in alleviating challenges associated with lockdowns within the education sector.

“The modern world requires all of us to be techno-savy, to embrace technology to manage life,” she said

“It’s one of our five pillars of a digital economy in the NDS1 as MoPSE. Soon, life will be robotics and education will be, and should be accessible at the touch of a button on cellphones, tablets, laptops and so on.”

Minister Ndlovu said she was eagerly waiting to receive the Maranatha team with the global award.

“Compete with pride and win with honour,” she said. “Bring the global award home, let the world know that our continental victory was no fluke. Like David, go and conquer the world.”

Ambassador Kwame Muzawazi, the Institute of African Knowledge (Instak) chief executive officer, who organisation runs the Hertiage Village, gave the African champions a copy of The Africa Factbook each, as a gift.

“Go and conquer the world,” Ambassador Muzawazi said. “Change the narrative on Africans, the people of the so-called dark continent by bringing back home the global award.”

Meanwhile, preparations for the global competitions set for February 14 are now at an advanced stage.

“We have made everything we can to modify our app to increase our chances of winning,” Tinovonga Sangonda (18), who is the chief executive officer of Hekima Inc said.

“We hope that with the guidance and all the support we are getting from everyone, we will be able to be world champions.”

The Maranatha team will compete with other winners from six regions of the world — Greece, Guam, Mexico, North Central Ohio and UAE.

Hekima Inc production director, In’utu Mubiana (18) said: “As a team I think we are ready, but anything can happen. We are competing with regional champions, we are just hopeful that we will come out victorious.”

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