Darting from pillar to post: Policy inconsistency and stakeholder contestations in curriculum review





Curriculum review, curriculum overload, Curriculum Assessment Learning Activities (CALA), policy inconsistency, stakeholder contestation


One of the most contentious issues facing politicians and scholars in the 21st century is the future of the school curriculum in a rapidly changing and highly digitised global village. This study explores stakeholder perspectives on Zimbabwe's school curriculum and their input during its review amidst the challenge of balancing traditional education with emerging technological, economic, and social demands. This reflects a global dilemma where schools strive to adapt to rapid changes without overwhelming the curriculum, highlighting the critical role of policy reform in navigating these pressures. Using capability theory as the theoretical lens and critical discourse analysis as the research design, this qualitative study generated data from 19 primary documents published on Zimbabwe's 2023 curriculum review. Parents, school administrators, teachers, and teacher trade unions complained about curriculum overload, the wrong timing of consultations, poor remuneration for teachers, and the need for a technical and vocational-oriented curriculum. While government policymakers argued that Curriculum Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) promote learners' creativity, research, and problem-solving skills, the user system vehemently opposed the curriculum overload caused by CALA. Each learner was expected to do a CALA project in every subject they were taking. Stakeholder contestations pressured policymakers to dart from pillar to post in search of a curriculum to pacify competing and conflicting interests. Therefore, policy reformers must seriously consider curriculum review input from the users if impending curriculum changes are to be successful following the review process.


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How to Cite

Chimbi, G. T. (2024). Darting from pillar to post: Policy inconsistency and stakeholder contestations in curriculum review. Interdisciplinary Journal of Education Research, 6, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.38140/ijer-2024.vol6.02