Original Research

Challenges of competency-based curriculum in teaching learners with learning disabilities

Jabulani Mpofu, Maximus M. Sefotho
African Journal of Disability | Vol 13 | a1268 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v13i0.1268 | © 2024 Jabulani Mpofu, Maximus M. Sefotho | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 June 2023 | Published: 04 March 2024

About the author(s)

Jabulani Mpofu, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa; and Department of Disability Studies, Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, Zimbabwe Open University, Harare, Zimbabwe
Maximus M. Sefotho, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa; and Division of Disability Studies, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Zimbabwean government adopted competency-based curriculum in 2017 as a measure to prepare learners for life and work in an indigenised economy and increasingly globalised and competitive environment. The government also sought to ensure that learners develop skills necessary for lifelong learning in line with the emerging opportunities.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore challenges faced by teachers in the implementation of competency-based curriculum to learners with learning disabilities in Mhangura of Makonde District in Zimbabwe.

Methods: A constructivist lived experience perspective underpinned this research, in which a single case study was used to interact with participants on challenges faced by teachers in the implementation of competency-based curriculum to learners with learning disabilities. Purposive sampling was used to select nine participants (five males and four females). Data were collected through face-to-face interviews and transcribed verbatim. Four themes emerged from the thematic analysis of data sources.

Results: Results indicated that participants were facing several challenges in implementing competency-based curriculum to learners with learning disabilities. Among the cited challenges were negative attitudes towards learners with learning disabilities, poor teacher preparation, lack of resources and poor collaboration.

Conclusion: The study concluded that the objectives of competency-based curriculum are noble to learners, but its implementation is not inclusive.

Contribution: The study findings will assist in identifying areas that need to be improved and need strengthening. The education policy makers in the country will have a better understanding of challenges faced by teachers in the implementation of competency-based curriculum in Zimbabwe.


Keywords

attitudes; challenges; competency-based curriculum; learners with learning disabilities; teachers.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

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