The Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) has appealed to government to reconsider their decision to revert to the old curriculum and discontinue the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) transitional curriculum in technical schools as the decision is likely to affect the pupils who have already started using the curriculum and are scheduled to write exams this year.
ZNUT Secretary General Newman Bubala was reacting to government’s decision to suspend the use of the STEM education transitional curriculum in light of concerns raised by stakeholders on the implementation of STEM curriculum in schools.
Mr. Bubala told ZANIS that government should have consulted stakeholders and communicated challenges to all before the decision was implemented.
“It’s a question of what does this reversal mean? Is it practical that children can revert and ready to write an exam? What does this mean for those who have been learning?” he said
And reacting to the same, National Action for Quality Education in Zambia NAQEZ Executive Director Aaron Chansa says the institution is disappointed at the turn of events because the STEM education curriculum was a very brilliant idea for the country’s education system.
Mr. Chansa has appealed to the Ministry to quickly sit down with all stakeholders and departments involved and reinstate the system as it will enable the country raise scientists, mathematicians and critical thinkers for the positive effects on the country.
“These schools must revert back to the STEM curriculum because it is intended to develop the pupils’ specs for the learners and also develop critical thinkers, those that are innovative so that we are able to raise scientists, technologists and also engineers, including mathematicians,” he said.
He said NAQEZ supported the STEM curriculum because of the positive effects that it will have on the students and the country.
And Annie Daka a parent, said her children who are in Grade 9 and Grade 11, both in STEM schools are discouraged at the development, which requires them to catch up on the missed lessons in a short period before exam.
“My child who is in Grade 11 has never studied Biology because the school only concentrated in Physics and Chemistry and now she has to start learning Biology. How is she supposed to catch up before exams?” she wondered.
Mrs. Daka said the transitioning might take a lot of work and time for the pupils who have already made tremendous progress in their research.
She has since appealed to the Ministry of General Education to reconsider their decision or close schools to allow for students in the STEM to catch up with their colleagues in subjects that were not covered in the STEM curriculum.
Ministry of General Education Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Dr. Jobbicks Kalumba announced the cancellation of the STEM curriculum in a memo to all Provincial Education Officers dated May 7, 2021.