The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) says it will only register candidates who have completed their Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (Cala) requirements to sit for the June ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels final examinations.

CALA is a student assessment system that was implemented in the final term of 2021 in preparation for the 2021 Zimsec examinations.

The first phase of the regime was meant to run from July to September 2021 but was disturbed by the prolonged closure of schools due to the covid-19 pandemic.

However, at the beginning of the final term (September 2021), the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) reduced the CALA components from the initial five components to three in response to the limited time available until examination starts.

CALA is any learning activity or assessment that requires learners to perform, demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and proficiency.

Under the system, Zimsec candidates’ physical and behavioural skills are assessed continuously (coursework) to contribute 30 percent to their final marks.

Summative or knowledge skills assessed during examinations contribute 70 percent to the candidate’s final grade.

In simple language, CALA is more of what university students do when they are given assignments (coursework) and the coursework is prepared and graded by their lecturer, however, with CALA moderators are involved.

The CALA system is meant to test and examine three areas, cognitive domain (looking at knowledge domain) and also the psycho-motor and affective domain.

The intention is to develop the skills of every learner and allow them to excel in other areas.

According to MoPSE, CALAs are meant to introduce situations where assessment is to be holistic and authentic because a learner’s potential is not only what they keep in the head, but involves other skills.