The Zimbabwe Curriculum framework sets out the common aims and objectives of the education system and the specific features of different education levels, thereby providing the basis for transparent relationships between schools, parents, and local communities. It also provides guidance to schools and education administrators in the organization, management and evaluation of the effectiveness of the school activities.

Schools are encouraged to actively engage, as learning organisations, in providing diversified opportunities for all learners to develop the knowledge, key skills and attitudes defined in this framework. This framework is intended to be the main reference document informing the development of syllabuses, revision of syllabuses, development and use of learning resources and the creation of guidelines for in-service teacher training and support

Updated Zimbabwe Curriculum Framework

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After a process of nationwide consultations, on Friday 25 September 2014 the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education announced the release of a draft education curriculum, meant to update and introduce major changes in the school system in the country.

With effect from the 10th of January 2017, the Ministry has started implementation of this updated school curriculum. Implementation is guided by the Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education 2015-2022 (pdf). According to the implementation matrix (insert link to Implementation Modalities page here), January 2017 marks Phase Two of implementation for selected classes.

The updated curriculum is meant to modernise the education system, at the infant, junior and secondary level, so they are in line with global trends and with modern technologies. The Curriculum Framework prepares graduates of the education system to have the following skills: critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, leadership skills, good communication skills, team building and technological skills.

The Framework outlines in detail learning areas for the three learning levels. These include areas such as Agriculture, Languages, Information Communication Technology, Science, Maths, Science, Statistics and Physics, all which are going to be introduced in school at an earlier stage. Feedback from public consultations and from experts has strongly suggested that learning areas like Mathematics, Science and Technology should be taught from Early Child Development.

Below is further information about the updated curriculum.

More Information about the Curriculum Framework, 2015 to 2022

What is the Curriculum Framework?

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education remains committed to fulfilling the potential of learners in Zimbabwe. Emphasis will be given to providing improved access and quality education to every learner. This will subsequently contribute to bringing about meaningful transformation in the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.

The Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education (2015-2022) provides a medium – to – long term policy direction to make these improvements in the education system. It establishes a clear sequence of priorities to ensure that the return on investment in education is optimised in terms of the results that matter most, which are learner outcomes.

The updated Curriculum provides today’s generation with relevant knowledge, skills, attitudes and that will drive the country‘s socio-economic growth and prosperity going forward.

Why Curriculum Reform?

Reforming or updating the school curriculum is a common and good thing that is done regularly in many progressive countries. It is important to realise that the Ministry’s efforts to review the curriculum was a result of numerous factors. Worth to mention are:

  • The agrarian reform since 1998/9
  • Developments in ICTs and the global economy
  • The new Constitution which came into effect in 2013, as well as
  • Recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Education and Training (CIET) (1999)

Major Post-Independence Reforms

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Education and Training (CIET) was set up in 1998. The CIET Report came out in 1999.

CIET Findings

The findings of Commission were that the Curriculum:

  • Lacked national values/philosophy to guide learners
  • Did not extol the virtues of self-reliance and entrepreneurship/enterprise and business skills
  • Offered little to develop the learners’ natural talents and aptitudes
  • Did not aggressively promote the teaching of Science, Maths, Technology, Vocational and Technical subjects and indigenous languages
  • Did not place adequate premium on Early Childhood Development education and non-formal education
  • Was examination oriented, and summative at that
  • Above all, the report recommended the establishment of a Teaching Professions Council to monitor and uphold professionalism in the sector

The Curriculum Review Process

Since CIET in 1999 it became increasingly self-evident that the curriculum required reviewing.

Prior to the review, as a Ministry we:

  • Prepared a Handbook on Curriculum Review
  • Designed a questionnaire for data collection
  • Developed a Training Manual
  • Set up a Technical Working Group, which included Key Ministries
  • Recruited Team Leaders
  • Mobilised resources from Government & Partners

Photos of Ministry outreach and consultations here (see attachments)

Nationwide Consultations

We held nationwide consultations with, and using the following platforms:

  • The School level
  • The District level
  • The Provincial level
  • The National level
  • Breakfast meetings
  • Written submissions
  • Print / Electronic Media
  • Mai Chisamba Show
  • Special Interest Groups
  • Uniformed Forces
  • Prisons and correctional services
  • Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec)
  • Sport, Arts & Culture Ministry
  • Universities
  • Churches, through EFZ, CCZ
  • Staff Associations and Teachers Associations
  • Industry and Commerce: ZNNC, CZI,
  • VID and Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe
  • As well as other entities

Issues that Emerged

The major sentiments and issues emerging from the consultations are found in the detailed Narrative Report (insert link to Narrative Report here), which was prepared, and which is available. These include:

  • Promotion of skills for enterprise development
  • Promotion of indigenous languages
  • The need for an educational philosophy
  • Promotion of the teaching of the Sciences, Mathematics, Technology, Technical/Vocational subjects and ICT
  • Promotion of sport, arts and culture
  • The role of the teacher and the learner to be revisited
  • Need for a robust system of assessment to track learner progress
  • Strengthening Early Childhood Development (ECD)
  • Strengthening monitoring and evaluation
  • Capacity development of teachers
  • School infrastructure development
  • Greater community involvement

Data gathered from consultations was used to compile the Narrative Report (insert link to Implementation Modalities page here) which formed the basis for drafting the Zimbabwe Curriculum Blueprint.

What else informed Review of the Curriculum?

  • While acknowledging the CIET recommendations, the Curriculum Framework has taken on aboard the human capital, social, political, economic and technological transformations in both in the country and globally.
  • The impact of the land reform and the need to cultivate a patriotic citizenry also enriched the framework
  • The curriculum had also to reflect the national efforts as enshrined in the national economic policy, the Zimbabwe’s home grown Constitution and Regional and International Treaties to which the country is a signatory
  • The expansion in the capabilities of information and communication technologies and the emergence of an information-driven economy underpin the need for the development of new skill sets that enable citizens to live and work competitively in the global village

Approval of the Curriculum Framework

  • The Ministry then developed a zero draft Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education to guide learning and teaching during the next seven years: 2015-2022.
  • The new framework was approved by Cabinet on 22 September 2015 and is now being implemented.

Aspects of the Curriculum

Aims of the Curriculum

The Curriculum Framework is driven by the following aims:

  1. To promote and cherish the Zimbabwean identity, in particular the following:
  • Patriotism
  • Awareness of heritage, history, culture and traditions
  • Inter-cultural understanding and tolerance
  • Self-respect and respect for others (Ubuntu/Unhu/Vumunhu)
  • Being open, receptive, assertive and optimistic
  1. To prepare learners for life and work in a largely agro-based economy and an increasingly globalised and competitive environment. this is with respect to, inter alia:

Life skills such as:

  • Team work
  • Collaboration
  • Negotiation
  • Work and enterprise skills
  • Personal development and Health
  1. To foster life-long learning in line with the opportunities and challenges of the knowledge society through:
  • Learning-to-learn
  • Embracing ICTs and e-learning
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Critical thinking and creativity
  • Problem-solving
  1. To prepare learners for participatory citizenship, peace and sustainable development with respect to:
  • Rights, duties and responsibilities
  • Tolerance and mutual respect
  • Management of diversity, differences and conflicts
  • Preserving and protecting the environment and resources
  • National unity
  1. To prepare and orient learners for participation, leadership and voluntary service through:
  • Encouraging self-discipline and sense of achievement and fairness
  • Fostering joy in serving others and the country
  • Developing a sense of accountability and commitment to others
  • Fostering a sense of responsibility, transparency and integrity
  • Preparing for a vocation

Principles underpinning the Curriculum

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education cherishes the following principles:

  • inclusivity
  • life-long learning
  • equity and fairness
  • gender sensitivity
  • respect (Ubuntu/Unhu/Vumunhu)
  • responsiveness
  • balance
  • diversity
  • transparency
  • accountability

Pillars of The Curriculum Framework

The reform process in primary and secondary education rests on five key pillars namely:

  1. The legal and regulatory framework
  2. Teacher capacity development
  3. Teacher professional standards
  4. Infrastructure development and
  5. The Centre for Education Research, Innovation and Development (CERID)

Learner Exit Profiles

The Curriculum Framework prepares graduates of the education system to have the following exit profiles:

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership
  • Communication and team building
  • Technological
  • Has attained knowledge in the following areas:
    • Basic literacy and numeracy
    • Business and financial literacy
    • Mastery of specific subject content
  • Appreciates and cherishes national identity and:
    • Manifests patriotism;
    • Recognizes and values national symbols
  • Voluntarily engages in participatory citizenship
  • Has the following values:
  • Discipline
  • Integrity
  • Honest
  • Unhu/Ubuntu/Vumunhu
  • Has the following attitudes and dispositions:
  • Self-initiative and enterprising
  • Self-managing
  • Ability to plan and organize

Learning Areas Per Level

To see the learning areas for each level go to the section, Implementation Modalities (insert link to Implementation Modalities page here), or download them here (insert link to downloadable pdf of learning areas here)

More Information About The Curriculum

  • You can download the Summary of the Curriculum Framework here
  • A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the updated curriculum can be downloaded here
  • Some presentations on the Education in Zimbabwe and the updated Curriculum can also be downloaded on the Downloads page