THE Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora, yesterday threatened teachers with early retirement for failing to understand and appreciate the new education curriculum.
Speaking at a meeting with school heads from the Midlands Province, Dr Dokora said teachers and headmasters at some schools were ignorant of the new education curriculum framework and that might force the Government to review the retirement age.
“We cannot move on like this. There are going to be a lot of causalities. Now do you want us to review the retirement age of teaching downwards because we can lobby Government for that?” he said.
Dr Dokora accused headmasters of failing to educate teachers on the new curriculum. He said some teachers and school heads from the seven provinces that the ministry has visited so far did not fully understand the curriculum, a development he said may hamper full implementation of the framework.
The ministry is moving around provinces unpacking the new curriculum to school heads to ensure that all teachers become aware of, and grasp the rationale behind the new learning programme. Dr Dokora added that visits by ministry officials in the seven provinces had shown that most teachers lacked basic appreciation of the new curriculum framework.
“I was surprised when I went to Mutare and realised that there are teachers who are not aware of this document (curriculum). Yesterday when we were in Mashonaland West Province some teachers stood up and testified that they had not seen such a document. It is the same story in five other provinces that we have visited.
“Now there are two things, when we said on 28 November, 2014 school headmasters should superintendent over the consultation of the new curriculum most of them delegated. When they delegated they did not get a full feedback on what transpired. When we met school headmasters in Nyanga they said they were not privy to the goings on. We released enough copies for all schools in the country,” he said.
Dr Dokora said there has been a social media onslaught on the new curriculum by teachers who were ignorant of the rationale behind the framework after failing to access the document despite the fact that the ministry distributed enough copies for all schools across the country.
Some teachers and school heads from the Midlands Province who attended the meeting also professed ignorance of the contents of the new curriculum. Asked if they had read the document the school heads failed to respond, creating an impression that they had not read it. Dr Dokora said teachers were foot soldiers in the implementation of the new curriculum, therefore they should be fully educated on the programme.
Meanwhile, Dr Dokora revealed that the ministry required about 7 000 more teachers immediately to enable the full implementation of the new curriculum. He said the ministry had presented the request for teachers before Cabinet for consideration.