MINISTRY OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
PRESS STATEMENT ON SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AS KEY PILLAR
OF THE COMPETENCY-BASED CURRICULUM
HON. AMBASSADOR N. C. G. MATHEMA, MP MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
A key focus of the competence-based curriculum is the development of skills, attitudes and values in addition to the knowledge which was the main thrust of the previous curriculum.
A key pillar of the New Curriculum is the development of school infrastructure so that learners and teachers concentrate on their work in a conducive teaching and learning environment.
Quality teaching and learning, and quality outcomes are guaranteed only if the school environment is suitable and this includes classrooms, specialist rooms and teachers’ accommodation.
The provisions for the teachers should be in keeping with their status. One of our challenges in the past is that once classrooms were constructed school commenced operations without regard to the circumstances of the teacher.
As a Ministry, we have our Education Management Information System (EMIS), and personnel at provincial, district and school levels that provide data on school infrastructure issues.
While we have this system of capturing data, I would also like to invite all Members of Parliament of both Houses to share with me any infrastructural challenges they may have with schools in their constituencies.
The intention is to ensure that no school is left behind as we do everything in our power to make all schools fruitful teaching and learning environments.
I want to emphasize that the education sector has space for all people of goodwill. We want to unlock the potential of all schools, and that of every teacher and learner.
This is a task where I would like the whole nation to participate in, and this is why I am extending a special invitation to all Honourable Members of Parliament in the two Houses to engage me with their written submissions about the status of schools in their constituencies.
As the nation is aware, the 2019 Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) Grade 7 results were released on 22 November 2019.
The selection into Form One is done through the electronic Ministry Application Platform (MAP), which is intended to reduce the inconveniences of the past when parents would criss-cross the country in search of a place at considerable cost.
Also, the public had raised concerns that negotiating for places directly with schools was creating space for some unscrupulous practices.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s policy is that the selection of learners into Form One is done by an Admissions Committee at each school.
The Admissions Committee consists of the Head of the school, the Deputy Head, the Senior Master/Woman, one Head of Department, one teacher and one representative of the Responsible Authority.
In addition, one Education Inspector from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will supervise and monitor the selection process at each boarding school.
It should be noted that there are 326 685 learners who completed Grade 7 in 2019. On the other hand, the nation has a total of only 24 000 boarding places.
We estimate that about 100 000 learners are seeking boarding places. Those who will not be successful in securing boarding places will, therefore, be accommodated at day schools in their school zones.
Clearly, there is a shortfall for boarding schools; the demand is just too high. But then, we actually have a national schools deficit of not less than 2 500 schools.
I am, therefore, inviting the Private Sector to partner with Government and the Ministry for us to build more schools in order to meet the demand and to improve the Infrastructure at our schools for both classrooms and teachers’ accommodation.
My best wishes to all the learners joining Form One in 2020.
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