Kalanga textbook scheme launched

27 Jan, 2014 - 03:01 0 Views
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The Chronicle

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Plumtree Correspondent
PRIMARY schools in Bulilima and Mangwe Districts have received Kalanga textbooks published by the Kalanga Language and Cultural Development Association (KLCDA). Matabeleland South provincial education director Tumisang Thabela officially launched the textbook scheme in Plumtree and said the Kalanga subject would now be examined at Grade Seven.

While Kalanga has been taught in some schools in Matabeleland South, schools have been facing a challenge of lack of textbooks.
“This launch means that Kalanga is now examinable in schools and this can improve the learning environment for children. As a province we have proved that our schools can perform better once pupils are taught indigenous languages,” said Thabela.

“Pupils were last year examined in Venda language and some of the districts, which had children sitting for the subject such as Beitbridge performed much better compared to previous years.”

Thabela said efforts were under way to produce material for teaching indigenous languages at Early Childhood Development (ECD) level. “We are still facing a challenge of marginalised groups within our province whose languages have not been incorporated,” she  said.

“As a province we have embarked on a  programme to produce material for teaching indigenous languages in schools. We have started producing ECD learning material in Kalanga, Sotho and Venda languages.”

She added: “This will go a long way towards improving the province’s pass rate because one of the reasons why children are failing in primary schools is because they are being taught in languages they do not understand.

“The government has announced that children should be taught in their mother language. I would like to challenge district education officers to implement this agenda.”

Zimbabwe Indigenous Languages Promotion Association (ZILPA) Maretha Dube urged college students to take up Kalanga teaching courses.

“The launch of Kalanga textbooks is the first step towards achieving cultural and linguistic democracy. As an association we are promoting the status of six languages namely Tonga, Nambya, Venda, Kalanga, Sotho and Shangane,” she said.

“The challenge we are facing is that college students are reluctant to take up teaching courses in these languages. At the moment Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic College only has 16 student teachers specialising in teaching Kalanga.”

Dube added: “We need students who come from these marginalised language speaking communities to take up these studies so that they promote indigenous languages within their communities. “At the same time we need people to be forthcoming and help produce books in these languages.”

The new constitution provides for promotion of teaching of all indigenous languages. KLCDA is a local independent organisation that seeks to promote Kalanga language and culture.

The organisation provided books for Grade one to seven. The books were published under the organisation’s subsidiary Kwalani Publishing House.

The printing of the textbooks was bankrolled by the Education Transition Fund set up by the government in 2009.

“As a province we have embarked on a  programme to produce material for teaching indigenous languages in schools. We have started producing ECD learning material in Kalanga, Sotho and Venda languages.”

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