Govt to investigate CALAs scandal

22 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
Govt to investigate CALAs scandal Brigadier General (Retired) Levi Mayihlome

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT will investigate alleged corruption in schools where teachers are cashing in on continuous assessment learning activity (CALA) projects for candidates sitting for public examinations at the end of the year by writing tests for learners.

Candidates will be examined on CALA for the first time this year as part of the implementation of the skills-based education curriculum which was adopted in 2016.

CALA projects are part of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s thrust to wholly examine pupils’ competencies, not just focusing on their academic performances but their practical capabilities in solving problems.

CALA performance results are expected to contribute 30 percent of their final mark in the public examinations.

As opposed to teachers supervising pupils on how to execute their CALA projects, it has emerged that some educators were now writing the practical tests for candidates.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Eveline Ndlovu said Government will investigate all reported cases where teachers are allegedly writing CALA projects for learners.

She was responding to Umzingwane MP Cde Levi Mayihlome who raised the matter during the National Assembly’s Question and Answer session on Wednesday.

“We are going to investigate the claims on the corruption that is taking place. We want to make sure that we understand the problem. In terms of the Information Communication Technologies (ICT) issues, we are working with the Ministry of ICT and the Ministry of Energy to make sure that the schools are connected. It will take us time but we are really pushing as Government to have schools connected so that children get computers and the ICT Ministry is facilitating that. On the issue of corruption, we are going to investigate that,” said Dr Ndlovu.

Cde Mayihlome said some teachers were charging between R100 and US$10 to write CALA projects for learners largely due to internet access problems.

“What we have seen on the ground is that teachers are making rolling business doing the CALA assessment on behalf of school pupils charging R100 in rural areas and US$10 in urban areas because parents and pupils do not have access to the internet and those who have access have no clue on how to go to the internet to do the CALA system,” said Cde Mayihlome.

“The assessment was supposed to have been done over a long period, at shortest, maybe one year and not one semester. One semester is not just on. Practically, what is happening on the ground is that teachers are making a killing because they bring all the students, 40 of them, charge R100 per student and they do the assignments themselves.”

He said the corrupt activity is set to affect the country’s quality of education as the school institution will produce learners with fake qualifications.

“What kind of students are we producing as a nation, what are we trying to achieve – and we give 30 percent for that? Are we really serious that we are giving 30 percent for work that a child has not done? If you give those children an assessment when they go to Form 1 next year, you will see how many of them will pass, because they know nothing about CALA,” he said.

Government has said there is no going back on CALA assessments.

It said learners without CALA results will not be allowed to write theoretical examinations that are set to commence at the end of November and will run into 2022. — @nqotshili

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