ECD to be taught in indigenous languages

Auxilia Katongomara Chronicle Reporter
EARLY Childhood Education in the country must be taught in indigenous languages, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora has said. The infant phase covers ECD to Grade two. Dokora said the development is part of the restructured curriculum which is already being implemented. Addressing parents and school administrators from 188 primary and secondary schools from Bulawayo province on Thursday, Dokora said the initiative was part of the new learning concepts.

“The first one is saying let’s use indigenous languages as a medium of instruction. Those who use English as their native language let’s use English; those whose indigenous language is ChiTonga lets us ChiTonga, the same applies to Nambya. This is provided for in the constitution,” he said.

Dokora said he knew there would be manpower shortages but already 322 teachers were undergoing training in Nambya, Venda, ChiTonga and Tshangani. ‘Before year end we should be able to input more teachers into those areas. They’re going to learn the language as they teach because we can’t postpone children’s education.

“I don’t train the initial teachers myself, it’s done by another ministry. They must deliver teachers who speak the 15 languages but I can do with the teachers who are already in the system by creating space for them to learn the languages,” said Minister Dokora.

“You don’t have to be a native Nambya speaker to learn Nambya because the majority of people I see in this room aren’t native to English, we learn it. “So you can be a person born in Mutoko in an area of Venda speaking communities, learn Venda and the Ministry will assist you”.

Minister Dokora said they are pushing languages to examination level from Grade Seven to Form Four.

Some of the learning areas which have been added to the ECD curriculum are visual and performing arts, mass displays, maths and science, family and heritage studies, information and technology.

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  • Twice Mabuza

    I really don’t understand the idea of Mr Dokora. Does he mean even maths has to be tought in indigenous language? I’m not against the implementation of the above mentioned languages. But I believe it would be wise to include english lessons in those kids daily School lessons, Whether we want it or not, we need english for national and international communications and for business purposes. Yes, some tribes felt that, their languages were not recognised and I think its the right time to dignify those languages. Look, even in Russia and in former Yugoslavian countries where english was forbidden, today they desperately need english speakers and the langauge is legally tought in Schools there now, because people want to do businesses and travel internationally. I might admit that, Zimbabwe still has a better quality of education than many other African countries. But the country is no longer producing good english writers. I have two sons who are studying in University right now. They passed their A, Levels with distinctions. We do exchange emails often. To be honest, I’m ashamed and saddened to say, they don’t know the difference between writing and talking. You would never know where the sentence starts or begins. I have to punctuate the text in order to understand it’s contents. Then I ask myself this question; Who marked their exam papers? Does the marker belong to this category too? Or the marker was drunk? I do agree with UZ Chancellor. He complained about the current Standard of education in Zimbabwe, saying High Schools are now producing half baked high School graduates. Biefly, I want to say; english, together with indigenous languages must be tought the very day on which the kd begins primary education.

  • Josaka Josaka

    Why do you want to train someone from mutoko to teach Venda ?Are you suggesting that the Venda can not teach their own language ? We are tied of this nonsense !!!!

  • zene

    abakhe abantwana bakhuluma isulungu kuthiwa abethu befunde isintu kuphela. indigenous languages should be taught when learning those subjects

  • Max

    Um grateful i don’t have an ECD child and neither do i have a primary one because all this is confusion.. Local language is taught at home. This ministry is quickly creating zimbabweans who will not be employable anywhere in the world.