The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education says there is no going back on the implementation of the continuous assessment learning activities (CALAs) for examination classes in line with the new competency-based curriculum introduced in 2017.
CALAs is a new assessment that requires learners to perform and to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and proficiency.
It combines continuous assessment (CA) and high stakes examinations and pushes learners to apply their learning in context.
CALAs forms part of the weighted contribution to learner performance outcome at Grade 7, Form 4 and Upper 6 final examinations.
It is the assessment of a pupil’s progress throughout a course of study rather than exclusively by examination at the end of it.
Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo said that the government is going ahead with the implementation of CALAs, which is now a policy.
Moyo was officially opening a three-day continuous assessment framework workshop for district schools’ inspectors in the southern region in Bulawayo on Monday. He said:
The various misconceptions will die naturally since CALAs has come to stay, although some people argued that we have to postpone it.
CALAs is a key component of the new competency-based curriculum, which was introduced in 2017.
It also has an assessment element in it, which we have delayed in implementing. The continuous assessment is meant to look at the formative side of the assessment of the abilities of children.
According to the Permanent Secretary’s Circular No.10 of 2021, CALAs implementation is now policy and learners who do not obtain marks for CALAs cannot obtain a final mark at the end.
Under the policy framework, the new grading system will see Grade 7 final results determined by 30 per cent of continuous assessment and 70 per cent on national examinations.
At Form 4, the framework states that learners’ grades be based 40 per cent on theoretical examination, 30 per cent practical examination and 30 per cent continuous assessment.
CALAs ultimately sets out what learners are expected to know and be able to do as a direct result of their learning in schools and non-formal education, starting from early childhood development (ECD) to secondary level.
At the moment, it only applies to examination classes.