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CDSSs in new senior secondary school curriculum nightmare

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About one term and seven weeks after the introduction of the new senior secondary school curriculum, teachers and learners in several schools, especially Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSSs) located in rural areas, are still using books recommended in the old curriculum due to the absence of the new books.

Some teachers and learners that we talked to have said the situation spells doom for the current crop of Form Three students, whose performance in examinations may be negatively affected.

A teacher at a Dowa-based CDSS said most schools do not have recommended textbooks as the second term of the 2017/18 academic year comes to an end.

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“As for me, I am using the old textbooks. I just select the topics that relate to the subject at hand, although the content is not the same. I even tell my students to brace for tough times ahead,” the teacher said.

In a ministerial statement issued last week, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka, told Parliament that, with regard to textbooks for senior secondary, procurement has been completed and the award of contract would be done by February 25 2018.

“All schools will be able to have books soon,” Msaka said.

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But Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) Executive Director, Benedicto Kondowe, has said it is worrisome that the new textbooks are nowhere to be seen despite assurances from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology that everything was under control.

“Now they are saying the process has commenced, and the question is: Which is which? We are worried that the ministry is not doing much despite that resources were available and committed to this process,” Kondowe said.

The new senior secondary curriculum was rolled out in September 2017 at the beginning of the 2017/18 academic year.

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