Understanding the ZNQF: Part Four…achieving horizontal comparability in education and training

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HORIZONTAL comparability of education and training qualifications shall align all qualifications through the development of MinimumBodies of Knowledge (MBKs), for all qualifications.
This framework makes MBKs, qualification standards and skills proficiency schedules mandatory for all qualifications across the educational sectors in Zimbabwe as applicable, all done in consultation with subject/programme/trade panels.
This shall facilitate portability of credits for all qualifications in the country.
MBKs, qualification standards and skills proficiency schedules shall support countrywide mobility of learners and engender the comparability of educational qualifications.
All the key sectors of Basic Education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training as well as Higher Education shall be required to ensure horizontal comparability of all qualifications under their purview.
All key sectors of the education pathways shall have a recognition system in such a way that students can accumulate credits in one institution and easily transfer them to another institution as Credit Accumulation and Transfer Systems (CATS) have been harmonised and standardised.
Zimbabwe has just migrated from the contact credit hour system to the notional study hour system to align with the rest of the SADC region.
As a rule, 10 notional hours (both contact and independent study hours combined) are equivalent to one credit.
All the above fundamental issues shall be realised through activities co-ordinated by the three qualification agencies and awarding bodies; Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC), Higher Examinations Council (HEXCO) and Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE), whose roles are listed above.
Aligning education to the labour market
If stakeholders within the country and the international community are to have confidence in this framework document, it is critical that appropriate procedures for ensuring that Zimbabwean qualifications are fit for purpose; and that programmes leading to these qualifications are being delivered by competent providers.
This shall be achieved by adhering to the following Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework (ZNQF) principles:
l ensuring that qualifications are relevant to perceived social and economic needs;
l bridging the gap between institutions and industry or labour market/ by ensuring that education and training standards are defined by agreed learning outcomes and applied consistently. Employers’ and workers’ organisations have a key role to play in this process;
l ensuring that education and training providers meet set quality standards by regulatory authorities (ZIMSEC, HEXCO and ZIMCHE); and
l securing international recognition for national qualifications by providing a model for transparency and comparison of Zimbabwean qualifications.
Structure of Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework

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