Motivated Teachers Always Perform Better.
ZIMTA CEO Dr Sifiso Ndlovu has called for an improvement in the management of school examinations in 2025 and better working circumstances conditions for examination invigilators and administrators for better advancement of quality education.
Speaking on a television program aired recently , Dr Ndlovu advocated for payment of examination invigilators adding this would enhance trust in ZIMSEC’s examination process and alleviate concerns regarding examiner integrity. Drawing on his experience as a teacher , Dr Ndlovu pointed out that even Cambridge , with over 800 years of history , paid teachers for invigilation.
He stated ” I started teaching in 1979 and during that time Cambridge was paying teachers for invigilating exams .”
The sentiments expressed by Dr Ndlovu echo a growing call for reforms within Zimbabwe’s education system. With a focus on nurturing individuality and allowing students to develop their skills and talents in line with their passions, It is hoped that Zimbabwe’s education system will evolve into one that celebrates diversity and promotes lifelong learning.
Teachers invigilating examinations in Zimbabwe are currently not paid invigilation allowances because the payments were scrapped off by the government.
Turning to the issue of CALAs , Dr Ndlovu was adamant that CALA was a good initiative despite its weaknesses. He pointed out that not every student exceled in an exam-driven environment and the continued reliance on the exam system system for selection and progression purposes restricted skills development and lifelong learning opportunities.
” CALA is a good concept, only it has not been thoroughly refined ,”he said .
ZIMTA produced its position paper regarding its views on CALA and submitted it to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in a call for submissions made by the Ministry in 2023.One of the key submissions made to the Ministry was that CALA needed to be reconfigured .It is recommended that the activities within CALA should be reduced to four core areas.
” We overlooked this issue of teacher preparation and funding ; these were very critical pillars in supporting the implementation of the programme successfully. Teacher preparation meant that we are supposed to have a continuous engagement in modifying the concept of CALA so it could fit into changing environment,” said Dr Ndlovu .
”CALA was taken as part of exams and daily activities and then we forget to assess the outcomes; were we aiming for marks or skills for leaners ?We defaulted to the old system and created a burdensome activity to teachers and leaners .CALA become an overload.”
Dr Ndlovu said CALA was supposed to evaluate skills that the leaners would have acquired at the end of the course rather than just a pass mark .
CALA accounts for 30% of the final mark while examinations contribute 70% under the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) exam module .
” Continuous assessment helps if students are assessed throughout the whole seven years in primary school and six years in secon.It must go on to tertiary education,” he said .
CALA was initially adopted in 2015 and its term ended in 2022 , prompting the consultations made in 2023 to review the curriculum.
During public consultations conducted by the Ministry last year , most parents and guardians called for the scrapping of CALA saying it was making learning difficult for pupils especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds who were failing to complete the required activities due to the high costs involved.
Some parents also argued that they were the ones doing CALA assignments instead of the learners themselves.
Input from various stakeholders was compiled and sent to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Cabinet who are expected to discuss the matter this month of February. The fate of CALA will be known after the Cabinet meeting.