Bulawayo will from tomorrow host a two day Provincial Annual Science, Sports and Arts Festival (PASSAF) at the White City Stadium to showcase learners’ talents nurtured through the updated curriculum that is now activity orientated.
The festival a brainchild by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is an annual programme that commenced in 2017 and covers all schools in Zimbabwe.
PASSAF comprises of various science, sports, arts and culture projects that learners engage in school from the Early Childhood Education (ECD) level, to infants and junior primary level going up to secondary level.
The festival also caters for school leavers engaged in vocational studies.
This year’s PASSAF enters its second year and will run under the theme “Nurturing and tapping talent through the competency based curriculum.”
2 250 participants are expected to attend and showcase their various science, sport, arts or cultural projects.
Bulawayo Provincial Education Director, Olicah Kaira, said the purpose of PASSAF was to make sure learners develop practical skills that would prepare them with critical life skills
“Sport, science, arts and culture provide the key components of total learner development and as the education ministry, we speak of learner outcomes not only in academia but seek to nurture the talent in our children so that when they leave the school setup they have practical skills to sustain themselves,” she said.
Kaira noted that although the country’s literacy levels are high, standing at 90 percent, the skill set was low.
“We still have a gap to fill as the education ministry on skills competency for our students,” she said.
The Bulawayo PED said PASSAF through its series was meant to initiate a change in the education system so that learners acquired both practical and academia skills.
“We aim to spearhead a major paradigm shift in the education system where people should not only recognise academic talents but also different talents that are within our students. This year, learners will showcase their knowledge through skills and attitude because it is the mindset that we must cultivate in all of us as teachers, administrators or as students to implement the competency based curriculum,” Kaira said
She also urged parents and stakeholders to attend the festival and support learners who would be showcasing their talent.
“We are therefore calling our parents, partners, stakeholders and the entire Bulawayo community to come in their large numbers to cheer our children, encourage our learners. We also call upon these communities to remain steadfast and never to tire in supporting such initiatives so that practical skills can be developed amongst our learners.”
Kaira added: “The students will compete in dance, poetry, drama, music, bakery, science and technology, electric and brass band music works and beadwork.”