By Steve Ephraem
FOR many years, the syllabus for public school was proud of producing graduates who were trained to look for employment. The graduates themselves would become satisfied with getting a white collar job, especially teaching and clerical.
Whoever coached our parents that getting employment is the most prestigious thing to make brought a huge dent on the development of talent in public schools.
Both teachers and parents would be against a learner excelling in arts and culture sector although they would be approach sports talent with a soft stance.
In this aspect, talent in school referred to sports. In the ball games, disciplines such as football and netball topped the charts at the expense of volley ball, basket ball, handball and other. In athletics, a runner (sprinter or marathon) would receive much respect than those who did high jump, triple jump, discuss or javelin.
The Government of Zimbabwe in 2015 introduced what is called Competent Based Curriculum (CBC) which is commonly known as the New Syllabus. CBC is simply saying that learners should be given opportunities to excel in their talents.
Soccer, netball and athletics cannot be the only disciplines which can define talents in schools. Can we categorise arts and culture as thrash? Let’s be realistic to each other.
Even if the schools are expected to implement Competent Based Curriculum by incorporating all disciplines, it is sad that the mentality of most heads of learning institution is still glued to the old curriculum. Is it a case of saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
I don’t know how much it would take a school to pave way for learners to explore the world of arts, culture and engineering. The excuse of expert staff shortage is just like hiding behind a finger. There are so many resources people who are free to support school by mentoring the kids for free.
It only requires the school management to liaise with such people to donate their skills to the learners. And it realistic that resource person if approach, they can do it. This is the case of a newly established Chipinge based learning institution named Our Lady of Perpetual Help School.
Within four months of its opening, the school started talent nurturing talents arts and culture. Also, it has finalised nurturing engineering talent.
The school has assembled a traditional dance group under the mentorship of a seasoned culturist, acting headman Zamuchiya, Irikidzai Mtetwa. In addition to the cultural dance group, the school has assembled a music team under mentorship of a retired music teacher, Eremencia Chinyama and another artist, Stephen Lundu.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help School has put every in place that it begins nurturing young engineers in the electronic field. The school has made arrangement with a Harare based electronic engineering company named Robotron Electronic Systems (Pvt) Ltd to train children in making of robots and drones. This all is at little to no cost.
The Managing Director of Robotron Electronic Systems (Pvt) Ltd, Donald Mazwati Mlambo, confirmed that nurturing of young minds is his interest.
“I started being involved in electronic field as a young boy in my father’s electronic repair shop. That is when I realised that young minds can explore the electronic filed without any difficulty. From that time I enjoy giving young people the space to explore in the field of engineering,” he said.
The nurturing of talent should be a priority to all school leaders and teachers. Competent Based Curriculum should be a reality than just a talk show. Schools should be fair to learner.