Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Robert Matikiti

African Theology, University of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe

FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL IN THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM: THE CASE OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES IN ZIMBABWE

The school curriculum, both primary and secondary, is increasingly becoming congested. The knowledge boom of the twenty-first century, coupled with other pressures from various interest groups has resulted in a plethora of new subjects vying for inclusion in the school curriculum. Inevitably this has led to various stakeholders questioning the justification for continued existence in the school curriculum of some traditional subjects. One such subject that has endured a barrage of criticism in recent times in the Zimbabwe school curriculum is Religious Studies. In the early eighties uproar erupted in the Zimbabwean society when an advertisement for police recruits appeared in he mainstream media. The entry requirements stipulated included five Ordinary level subject passes, excluding, among other subjects, Religious Studies. While the Zimbabwe Republic Police did not consider this subject as important in developing a competent policeman, some other sections of society thought otherwise. In 1999 during the abortive Zimbabwe Constitution making process, a vocal Christian group led by a Reverend Wutaunashe made a bid to make Zimbabwe a Christian nation constitutionally. This bid was contested by other non-Christian groups and it failed (The proposed draft constitution was later rejected in a referendum in 2000). This paper analyses the justification of religious Studies from historical, philosophical and sociological perspectives.