Min­istry urged to en­force schools lan­guage pol­icy

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Re­porter

THE Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion has been urged to en­force the coun­try’s lan­guage pol­icy in schools as ar­tic­u­lated in the Con­sti­tu­tion so that chil­dren are taught in their mother tongue.

This is con­tained in a re­port on the re­view of the Ed­u­ca­tion Act pre­pared by a tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee to an In­ter-Ministerial Task-Force (IMT) that was pre­sented at a two-day stake­holder con­sul­ta­tive work­shop on the draft Ed­u­ca­tion Amend­ment Bill.

Mem­bers of the IMT tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee and se­nior of­fi­cials from the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion par­tic­i­pated in the work­shop to amend the Ed­u­ca­tion Act.

The com­mit­tee said it was im­por­tant for chil­dren to be taught in their mother tongue. It rec­om­mended that there should be no dis­crim­i­na­tion in re­spect of of­fi­cial lan­guages.

“The con­sti­tu­tion states that the prin­ci­ples of good gov­er­nance, which bind the state and all in­sti­tu­tions and agen­cies of the Gov­ern­ment at ev­ery level, in­clude the fos­ter­ing of na­tional unity peace and sta­bil­ity, with due re­gard to di­ver­sity of lan­guages, cus­tom­ary prac­tices and tra­di­tions,” the re­port said.

“There are 16 lan­guages that are of­fi­cially recog­nised in Zim­babwe. Fur­ther, ev­ery per­son has the right to use a lan­guage of their choice.”

The re­port says re­search has shown that when a child’s first lan­guage is used for learn­ing through­out pri­mary school, they are more likely to suc­ceed in school.

“The learn­ing needs of chil­dren must be sat­is­fied, tak­ing into ac­count the cul­ture, needs and op­por­tu­ni­ties of their com­mu­ni­ties. Ac­cord­ingly, sec­tion 62 of the cur­rent Act should be amended to re­flect the im­por­tance of Zim­babwe’s of­fi­cial lan­guages,” reads the re­port.— @pame­lashumba1

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