A Curriculum for the Millennium in Zimbabwe: Lessons from the Past and Possibilities for the Future
AbstractA Zimbabwe Bulletin of Teacher Education (ZBTE) article on the post-independence educational system in Zimbabwe with special emphasis on educational curriculum development.
According to Bruner (1960:1) ‘Each generation gives newform to the aspirations that shape education in its time. What may beemerging as a mark of our own generation is a widespread renewal of concern for the quality and intellectual aims of education but without abandonment of the ideal that education should serve as a means of training well balanced citizens for a democracy’. On the eve of the 21st millennium, various sectors of the Zimbabwean society especially at policy-making levels cannot avoid thinking and planning about the future in relation to lessons of the past. The advertisement on vision 2020 that splashes on our television screens at peak viewing times is a timely reminder that we need to deliberately set development targets during the period in question. Recently Permanent Secretaries in various ministries of government spent some time in the resort town of Nyanga planning and discussing development policies for the next millennium. We in education have an equally demanding task to reflect on the achievements and constraints of the last two decades of this millennium which marked our independence as a basis for mapping out strategies for education renewal for the future. Thus this paper attempts to discuss briefly post-independence educational issues with a bearing on the curriculum highlighting achievements and constraints and what lessons we can leam for the future. In discussing these issues one is cognisant of the broader context of policy issues that were a result of ideological shifts,first from the inherited capitalism of the colonial era towards socialism adopted at independence, and later, back to capitalism as a result of international pressure especially from the Breton Woods institutions- the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The fall of the Soviet Union bloc symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was the final nail in the coffin of any former eastern bloc oriented policies thus entrenching the ascendancy and hegemony of western capitalism especially the monetarist kind bequeathed to the West by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the eighties. The adoption of structural adjustment programmes (SAP) (interpreted in Zambia as SATAN ALIPANO - the devil has ascended) marked a final departure from socialist policies towards more market oriented policies.
Maravanyika, O.E. (1997) A Curriculum for the Millennium in Zimbabwe: Lessons from the Past and Possibilities for the Future. Zimbabwe Bulletin of Teacher Education (ZBTE) vol. 5, no.1, (pp.64-77.) UZ, Mt. Pleasant, Harare: DTE.