Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Educational system

I have learnt in Zimbabwe all my life, from kindergarten to tertiary. I have attended schools in Zimbabwe, which l so loved and enjoyed going to. I remember how excited l was when l went for my first grade, my first year at secondary school, high school and tertiary level. These are the most memorable moments in my life and they made me feel like I was advancing not only academically but socially and economically. I felt like with every level l advanced to I was being empowered somehow. It’s a beautiful feeling I must admit.

Now, l am doing my final year at Varsity and I actually took a look right back at everything l did, how we were taught and what we were taught. I can’t help but wonder if the curriculum is still the same or if anything has changed.

In my opinion the Zimbabwe curriculum has been designed in such a way that it grooms children to become academics and does not place much emphasis on menial skills among other things. Children are taught how to become academics and taught how to be useful employees rather than employers. Our curriculum does not groom us to be employers instead we are groomed to be employees and how to become better employees.

Noting how the Zimbabwean economy is unstable, one can safely say that it is better if students can be taught how to start their own businesses, the nitty grities that are essential in starting businesses. This could help those who have no desire whatsoever to become employed but want to make their own money.

At varsity we have a course that is only a semester long about Entrepreneurship. I am sure this course was designed to carter for people who want to start their own businesses. However this course is largely theoretical and not much can be bone or can be gained by people who want to be entrepreneurs. There is more theory than practise and it becomes just one of the courses that are done and people forget about.

To add to the already existing food and nutrition, fashion and fabrics, metal work and wood work, students should be encouraged to focus on sports, poetry, dance, acting and other lessons. Not just in passing or as a theoretical subject but taken seriously. This will help those students who are naturally slow to belong somewhere. It will help them realise their potential in another field other than the academic field, that way there could be a reduction in the number of school dropouts. These children would be motivated to go to school not because they want to learn math but because after a boring math lesson they can finally get to do what they are good at. At some point students are discouraged from attending school because they know that they are not academically sharp and they have failed ever since they started attending school, but the introduction of these lessons all year round would give them reason to attend classes and participate in lessons that they know they are good at.

These practical courses in my opinion should be done all year round. For example, football should not only be done in term 2, athletics in term 1 and other things in term 3. Football should be played throughout the entire school calendar such that the aspiring soccer stars getting enough exposure. And the trainers should be professional sports people not just any random teacher.

The government should invest in these practical courses starting from kindergarten straight up to tertiary level. There should be sports colleges, music schools, cooking schools, designing schools, photography schools and film schools among others such that those who did not make it in academia could also find a place elsewhere.  

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