Global Educational Research Journal

ISSN 2360-7963

The Zimbabwenised Competency-Based Curriculum Controversy Surrounding Implementation

Abstract: A paradigm shift occurred in the country’s education sector following the growing need for a skill-driven curriculum that is capable of meeting the demands of the skills agenda and life in the 21st century world. Such a curriculum is competency-based, a curriculum that was rolled out in primary and secondary schools in 2017. According to official policy, the competency-based curriculum was earmarked to phase out the traditional content-based curriculum which had remained in existence since the achievement of the political independence on 18 April 1980. Apparently, the ultimate objective of the competency-based curriculum was to address the lived realties of people, offer solutions and facilitate the process of developing the learners’ lifelong learning habits and the acquisition of appropriate real life skills thus, its position as a school curriculum was justified on this basis. Despite being an educationally sound and laudable initiative, the adoption of the curriculum reform in Zimbabwe occurred amid some controversies following its seemingly pre¬mature introduction into the school system, where the majority of the unprepared educators were required to implement it. Data was collected via the ‘WhatsApp’, social media platform, an emerging form of doing research (Reeve & Partridge, 2017). Thus, a group chat involving fifteen (N=15) educators was purposively selected from secondary schools in the Kwekwe district. The study established that most of the educators had a partial theoretical and practical knowledge of the competency-based curriculum and that schools have not yet fully institutionalized the practice particularly the CALA component. The study however, proposes intervention avenues which the MoPSE can adopt to improve delivery and practice.

Keywords:   curriculum     shift   competency   Zimbabwenised    paradigm