by TZN Correspondent
Zimbabwean Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora told parliament Wednesday following an earlier announcement by his Deputy that Ordinary Level pupils will from 2016 be required to have driver’s licences in line with the Life Orientation Skills Programme before taking exams is false, and there is nothing like that.
Legislator and former MDC secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga asked for clarification from Dr Dokora.
“I am directing my question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr. Dokora. How far true is the circulating rumour that students will only be allowed to sit for their ‘O’ Level examinations after they have acquired their motor vehicle driving licences ? This information was released by his Deputy Minister”, she asked
“Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to respond to this question. My response to the question is that this is false, there is nothing like that. I thank you”, replied Dr Dokora
Two weeks ago, it was reported by the Sunday news that The Primary and Secondary Education Ministry is already hammering out a pilot project to determine the feasibility of this, with the Transport Ministry also involved.
Two schools in Matabeleland South are giving pupils driving lessons and facilitating road tests with the Vehicle Inspection Department. In an interview with our Harare Bureau, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora said, “The idea came from people who participated in the curriculum review process and said, ‘We want our children to have such kinds of skills’.
“Actually, we have two schools in Matabeleland South providing for drivers’ licences and we are discussing with the Ministry of Transport to see how we can pilot that (initiative) and how workable it is.
What I am talking about is not news in Europe, for instance, because once a child turns 16, he/she is assisted by the school to acquire a driver’s licence.
You will agree with me that if a child has a licence, they are empowered.” The Life Orientation Skills Programme is a compulsory five-month work-related initiative students will undergo before they get their O-Level examination results. It will see learners work in hospitals, uniformed forces’ departments, schools and private institutions, engaging in volunteerism and acquiring skills.
In addition, teachers will be capacitated in curriculum research and development, technical and vocational education, indigenous languages and Information and communications technology (ICT), among other disciplines.
The new education curriculum comes into effect in January 2016, and will align existing education practices with emerging national and global socio-economic trends.
Content-based curricula will transform to competency-based examining. At the World Teachers’ Day Commemorations in Harare yesterday, Dr Dokora said about 6 000 indigenous languages teachers were enrolled at Midlands State University to study ICTs.
“This Teacher Capacity Development Programme is upgrading diploma holders to degree level, degree holders to Masters’ level; and a few will be assisted to advance to PhD level on research programmes identified by the ministry.
“We have also said an indigenous language teacher will be able to put across the message clearly to students, ensuring students understand the language better. We are training them in ICTs.”