The Movement for Democratic Change, MDC has recommended for the introduction of Science as a subject at lower grades in schools in order to prompt interest in such technical subjects amongst learners at an early age.
Government recently unveiled the new 2023 Curriculum Framework for Zambia that seeks to adjust the structure of Zambia’s education system in a quest to provide guidance on the preferred type of education for the country, a development that has sparked a wide range of public concerns.
According to Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Joel Kamoko, Early Childhood Education had been reduced from four to three years, while primary education level had also been reduced from seven to six years, with eligible entry reduced from seven to six years.
And the Secondary Education level has been restructured and increased from five to six years to accommodate two years of A–levels thus, learners will be provided with four years of ordinary secondary education and two years of advanced Secondary (A level).
But MDC National Executive Committee Member Julius Phiri has observed that the A-levels involves more of science related subjects yet many children do not like science as such, a lot would be hindered from progressing in education because of the nature of the subjects.
Mr. Phiri who is a veteran educationist said it is the view of the party that science as a subject must be introduced at lower grades because if it continues to be introduced to learners at higher level, majority of learners would drop out.
“A-levels caters science subjects but many of our children do not like science as such, many would be hindered and would not progress because of the nature of the subject. Science subjects should begin at lower grades. If science continues to be introduced at a higher level, majority of learners would be dropped out” Mr. Phiri said.
And Mr. Phiri has said the new curriculum that government intends to come up with should have started as a pilot project in technical schools to see how it performs. He said as at now, government is likely to have a challenge as it cannot review the curriculum before preparing the teachers.
“Introduction of science at lower grades is important. The kids are quick to grasp latest technologies which therefore shows that they can grasp science at a tender age but all they need is exposure. Government should prepare to meet the costs for teachings that prepare learners for practical jobs” Mr. Phiri said.
Mr. Phiri said it is also imperative that government explains to the public where the intended new curriculum has been tried before in order to measure the success ratios as the current review may not take the country anywhere as it is unlikely this is be a successful program.