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.