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Teachers take back seat

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A MINISTRY of Primary and Secondary Education official has revealed that headmasters and teachers in Matabeleland North are reluctant to teach life skills, sexuality, HIV and Aids since it is not an examinable subject.

NQOBILE BHEBHE
CHIEF REPORTER

Last year, the government launched what it called a Life Skills, Sexuality, HIV and Aids strategy with the aim of ensuring that the education sector supported all learners with access to correct information and life skills related to sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention, care, treatment and support by the end of 2015.

However, the subject is not examinable.

On Tuesday, an education official who identified herself as Chiname, told a National Aids Council Matabeleland North stakeholders’ meeting in Bulawayo that they were beset with challenges in motivating headmasters and teachers to take the subject seriously.

“We are having challenges in the province when it comes to teaching of life skills. Life skills is not an examinable subject so teachers and school heads are not showing keen interest in it,” Chiname said.

“When you ask them why, they say they concentrate on examinable subjects such as Mathematics, English and Ndebele.

“They fear that they would be called to give an account of the results if they are poor.

“Life skills is being sacrificed, so some students graduate posthumous because they would have lacked life skills knowledge.

“We lobbied the ministry in having life skills examined, but the ministry said life skills were being examined on a daily bases,” Chiname said.

However, despite the “concentration” on examinable subjects, the Matabeleland region continues to post poor pass rates at both primary and secondary level.

Six schools recorded a 0% pass rate in the Gwanda district in the 2013 Grade 7 exams.

Permanent secretary in the ministry, Constance Chigwamba, could not be reached for comment.

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