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Celebrating the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Curriculum Framework for Zimbabwe (2015-2022)
The purpose of this paper is two-fold. Firstly, it celebrates the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) for having come up with an indigenous philosophy of education, namely, philosophy of unhu/ubuntu/vumunhu, for the first time since Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980. It is pertinent to mention that, prior to this development, the country was lamenting the dearth of a philosophical grounding for its educational curricula. Essentially, what Zimbabwe had been experiencing over the past thirty-five years, were philosophical trials and errors or the challenges of ‘shifting philosophical centres’ to underpin its educational curricula. Consequently, the paper specifically celebrates the de-centring of unhu/ubuntu as well as chivanhu/isintu which underpins this particular philosophy. This is because these two ideas which are the anchor of indigenous Zimbabweans’ worldview had for a long time been on the margins of educational discourses and provisions in Zimbabwe. Secondly and related to the above, the paper interrogates the idea of ‘learner exit profiles’ as contained in the updated curriculum framework. Whilst this is worth celebrating, we hasten to add that if learner exit profiles are indeed the aims of the curriculum, then that presents a problem. This is because discourse on the aims of education in general has not been without controversy. The concomitant debate emanates from conflicting views as to whether or not it is sound and conceivable for education to have aims or an aim. Accordingly the thesis defended in this paper is that; contrary to public opinion, it is a misnomer to conceive of education as having aims, rather education should aptly be viewed as having an ultimate aim. Furthermore, it is argued that it is feasible to conceptualise the ultimate aim firstly as a universal as well as obtaining at every stage of the education continuum. In presenting the celebration as well as unpacking the stated problematic, insights shall be drawn from documentary analysis with special focus on Plato’s Theory of Forms and discourses on ‘narratives of return’ anchored on the idea of a decolonising philosophy.