via Mugabe helps Hungwe understand his job NewZimbabwe 08/10/2013
Robert Mugabe has moved to explain the mandate of the psychomotor ministry after the minister heading the portfolio apparently failed to clarify his role when quizzed over the issue in Parliament recently.
In an interview with the Herald Mugabe said the portfolio was part of the President’s office and would co-ordinate the introduction of life skills in the country’s school curricula.
“Nhasi uno vana vanosvika Form Four vagoenda Form six, vagoenda kuuniversity vasingazivi kana kuruka, kuveza mupini. Practical subjects had lost attention in our curriculum. Mwana anopedza secondary asingazivi kuti kana garden rinoitwa sei,” he said.
“Those practical subjects must be brought back. There is too much emphasis on pure disciplines. We want a Form Four boy, yes, anoziva mathematics, what of practical subjects that give us life?
“Those practical subjects must come back into our school system and they need not necessarily count towards qualifying for ‘A’ level or for university, but for his own life. It is revising the curriculum such that it becomes a curriculum for living.”
Mugabe named Zanu PF politburo member Josiah Hungwe Ministrer of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education in his new cabinet following the July 31 elections, sparking speculation the veteran leader created the portfolio merely to accommodate a senior party official and other competing interests in his party.
Observers also wondered whether the functions of the mandate of the portfolio, whatever they were, could not be discharged by the ministries of higher and tertiary education led by Olivia Muchena, Lazarus Dokora’s primary and secondary education desk, or sports, arts and culture under Andrew Langa.
Hungwe and Muchena did not help matters when they failed to respond, asking for more time after legislators quizzed them about the role of the ministry.
“I would like to thank Honourable (Sekai) Holland for her question. I think many people are expecting a statement to that effect. Could I plead with you if you could allow me more time to come to this Senate,” said Hungwe during a recent Senate session.
“I would also ask the Honourable Senator to put it in writing so that we could do the same to other Honourable Senators who are here, so that we are clear on what this new ministry is all about; I thank you.”
Muchena similarly pleaded for time saying: “I … would like to ask the indulgence of the House for me and my colleague to bring a joint statement after we are fully briefed,” she said.
“I wanted to say by way of definition … there should be smooth flow between the body and the mind. Normally, people learn in the mind and not be able to do it. So, what is meant by psychomotor is that there should be engagement between the mind and how to do it.”
Mugabe said the portfolio was a response to proposals made by the Nziramasanga Commission of Inquiry into education adding practical subjects had been neglected with too much emphasis directed at pure disciplines.
“The Nziramasanga Report was done, but it has not been happily accepted and yet it is a scientifically grounded inquiry,” he said.
“We will look into the Nziramasanga report in greater detail. We will have to co-opt quite a number of educational experts working under the Minister of State but without disorganising the smooth running of schools.
“We will have to think of ways to make sure with the curriculum changes, how does the system escalate to university education.”