The ‘Dokora Curriculum’ Under Review Says New Minister, What’s Your Take?

Trycolyn Pikirayi Avatar

“It’s the back to school promotion!”

For a long time, my heart always sank whenever these type of adverts started. Not that I hated school to be honest, but I hated waking up early – I still do!

Anyway, it’s that time of the year again when schools open. The period which stresses parents a lot, I mean the January disease is not a myth (even though it now seems as if it’s January all year round to be fair).

In the last couple of terms, parents have not only had to worry about uniforms, school shoes and books, but about laptops, tablets and phones as well. Given how careless kids can be, I can only imagine how much some parents have had to fork out for replacements and all.

Nonetheless, amongst the many worries parents had about their children (as far as school is concerned) is the new curriculum (well, not so new anymore). I say had because some parents have embraced it though of course some still find it difficult, not only financially but also in dealing with the fear of overburdening their children among other things.

However, it seems as though we’re not the only ones who had to face a dramatic shift in our primary and secondary education as orchestrated by the government, because France has joined the club. The difference is, while we were astonished by the introduction of gadgets in schools, France is astonished by the banning of gadgets from school.

It is quite a difficult decision to make in terms of how much exposure we should allow minors to have when it comes to tech. We really want our children to grow up acquainted to the internet, gadgets and so forth so that it doesn’t only help “when they grow up” but most importantly, so that they can start being innovative with it even if it’s in the smallest of ways. The problem now is at that age, they are most vulnerable. If we as adult sometimes fall prey to ‘the dark side of tech’ particularly the internet, then you can only imagine how multiplied that danger is when it involves minors.

However as it stands, the Primary and Secondary Education minister, Paul Mavima has announced  that the *new curriculum that was introduced by Sir Lazarus Dokora is now under review. This means there is likely going to be some amendments to it, if not a total change. What I personally don’t expect is that we just say no to it and revert back to the old one. I’m obviously not an expert in this, but I know for sure that one of the main reasons why tertiary education is becoming a joke in Zimbabwe is the lack of constant curricula revision.

So during this process of reviewing I suggest we look into case studies such as this one of France. Why are they suddenly banning mobile phones at school? Is it a research based decision or not? If yes, what does the research say? What are the differences and similarities that we have with France that can influence the variations in the study – and of course we can’t limit the case study to this one.

Also to note is that the minister said the review of our curriculum will involve all stakeholders and as such, you can choose to be involved through this article by making use of the comments section.

Therefore, what’s your take?


  1. Observer

    My take is that we have a very shallow media which cannot dissect global issues. The media has been extremely unhelpful in explaining to the nation a very important national project also being supported by many sponsors such UNICEF, DFID etc because it is worthwhile, choosing instead to concentrate on Dokora and his dressing and appearance. How base can we become when other countries are progressing? Why call it a Dokora new curriculum when this is government policy, as approved by Cabinet, and whose genesis was the Nziramasanga Commission at the end of the 1990s, in as much as we cannot call the Beitbridge-Chirundu highway the ‘Gumbo highway’. Second, regular reviews are part of such national projects, so do not expect much change as Mavhima was part of the Ministry when Dokora was minister. He has already said there won’t be much divergence from the current. Introducing tech in schools can only be good despite that gadgets might be dropped, might get lost etc. While some resist change and complain like the teacher’s unions, go to Avondale junior school just to see how well they are doing with tech because of progressive leadership. I’m sure there are many other examples, some in the rurals.

  2. Zimbo

    I smell fear in Zimbabwe. Few that make arguments on this curriculum have read it. Many want it scrapped because they heard it goes against their religion. Some just don’t believe in working any harder than they’ve been already with no pay increase. Have we had specialist reports to look at whether kids are truly overburdened or not or this is our imagination.

  3. George

    Firstly,that part above with ‘Lazarus Dokora and Paul Mavima’ needs to be corrected.Secondly,the Minister should not just impose a new system on both the teachers and parents without any consultation.

  4. Osborne Karuva

    If what Mr Dokora introduced as the said “New Curriculum” is a result of a research carried out by state appointed professionals (The Nziramasanga Commission) years back and was approved for implementation then he’s unfortunate to be blamed and scandalized for it by mostly people who only heard the cons of the new education system and not the pros.

  5. Anonymous

    dokora managed to reduce the fraudulent activities of the teachers who were short changing parents. in class nothing was taught and the teachers were only working to get extra income thru extra lessons. I don’t know why dokora was demonized on this issue. some people just support things blindly.

  6. Treyous hunba

    What about those in rural areas can they afford the gadgets and they say france has joined in the new curriculum …. france is a developed country and you wana compare it to Zimbabwe ……. other students had done well without the gadgets … and most of students in high school even use the internet for soccer and other things which is not good @ all….. the new curriculum z good for a developed country ….. for zimbabwe this is a big step and we need to slow down hey .

  7. Emma O Beirne

    There were some silly inclusion on the new curriculum – marching and parading as part of a curriculum? It’s all very well upgrading and revising, but make sure teachers are trained, parents are onboard and it’s effective given the context of where we are as a nation. And take politics out of schools as well. Singing the National Anthem is fine, everything else is not.
    As for introducing gadgets – well most parents are struggling to pay $1.35 per exercise book, let alone gadgets. Give teachers the resources to teach and children the resources to learn but don’t make it the parents burden to provide what the government can’t or chooses not to.

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