BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
GOVERNMENT has failed to allocate adequate funding to the Primary and Secondary Education ministry to enable it to train teachers to implement the continuous assessment learning activity (Cala), it has emerged.
Under Cala, pupils are supposed to carry out projects and tasks, which will constitute 30% of their coursework for each subject for their final Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) examinations.
Primary and Secondary Education ministry finance director Betty Wenjere yesterday appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education, where she told MPs that the Cala programme, which was introduced last year, was underfunded.
Wenjere did not state the amount that Finance minister Mthuli Ncube allocated to the ministry for Cala last year, but said the funds allocated were too little to train teachers.
“When the new syllabus came in, we wanted to train all teachers, but the budget (2021) was not sufficient and we started with examination classes. In 2021, we only managed to train teachers for examination classes,” Wenjere said.
“Only 2 250 teachers will benefit from the Cala training programme out of the budget allocated to us this year (2022),” she said.
The country has approximately 136 000 teachers.
“We want to train all teachers, but the budget was not sufficient. We started to train examination class teachers, but we are going to train others in phases. The budget is not sufficient, but those who are supposed to be trained were trained to administer examinations.”
Wenjere said teachers would be trained in a phased approach, while priority would be given to those taking examination
She said her ministry made a bid of $3 billion for the procurement of textbooks, but the Finance ministry allocated them $2 billion, which would be insufficient to procure Ordinary and Advanced Level textbooks for different provinces.
Legislators expressed disappointment over government’s failure to fund the training of Cala activities.