CALA: The Newest Cash Cow For Teachers
9 October 2021
Some teachers have reportedly turned the Continuous Assessment Learning Activity (CALA) into a cash cow as they are being paid to award more marks to candidates, while others are writing coursework on behalf of pupils.
CALA is a government programme, which is part of the new curriculum that requires learners to perform, demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and proficiency in their learning areas before the main exam.
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Under the regime, ZIMSEC candidates’ academic aptitude is assessed continuously (coursework) to contribute 30 per cent to their final marks.
A two-week investigation by The Manica Post established that some "rogue" teachers were charging varying amounts to candidates willing to get high coursework marks.
Apart from being paid to award more marks, some teachers were being paid to write the coursework on behalf of candidates.
A Grade Seven teacher at a Sakubva school reportedly accepted a US$10 bribe to write the coursework for a candidate while another at Dangamvura accepted a similar amount to provide all the required material.
Not to be outdone are stationers who are also reportedly making a killing out of services being rendered to candidates in this year’s examination classes.
Prices of basic printing services are now slightly higher as stationers take advantage of the candidates’ need to print a number of answer sheets.
Printing a page with written answers and pictures pasted on it, a service for which stationers charged 50 cents before, has since been doubled to a dollar, The Manica Post further reported.
Manicaland Provincial Education Director, Edward Shumba, said accepting bribes to award more marks was a punishable offence if one got caught.
He said a moderation exercise would be conducted at the end to ensure a quality assessment of the work done by the candidates and teachers. Said Shumba:
Accepting bribes to award more marks is a punishable offence. We do not expect that from our teachers.
We believe these teachers are professionals who were properly trained and must never involve themselves in such dirty work.
We will also have a moderation exercise that will give a better picture of the work that would have been covered by the teacher and the pupils.