CALA: Government delivers bad news to parents and pupils

Primary and Secondary Education Ministry director of communication and advocacy Mr Taungana Ndoro

Continuous assessment instils valuable skills, but the government looks to optimize implementation

The Zimbabwean government is conducting awareness campaigns to educate stakeholders on CALA, the country’s Continuous Assessment Learning Activities program in schools. CALA, introduced in 2015 based on recommendations from the Nziramasanga Commission, forms 30% of learners’ final grades in exam classes.

However, many parents and guardians have complained CALA is too expensive and difficult to implement. In response, government officials clarified that CALA will not be scrapped, but components per subject may be reduced. They said misunderstandings about CALA’s benefits are common, hence the public awareness drive.

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Education experts believe CALA helps develop crucial skills in problem-solving, innovation and critical thinking. But to maximize results, they recommend reducing the number of CALA activities per subject based on the learner’s grade level. They also suggest allowing other exam bodies to assess CALA to improve quality and using it to identify learners best suited for vocational training instead of purely academic paths.

The aims are to tailor CALA in a way that benefits all types of learners while preserving its role in instilling valuable life and work skills. Government and educators recognize the need for optimization, not elimination, of the program to suit Zimbabwe’s economic goals and produce graduates who can create their own jobs.

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