by TZN Correspondent
BUHERA South MP Joseph Chinotimba has suggested Universities adopt local languages such as Shona and Ndebele so that Zimbabweans are able to work mathematical problems either in Ndebele or in Shona, a move that he says would curb examinations failure rates.
The legislator on Wednesday asked Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Dokora when Zimbabwe is going to change its mindset so that its education is administered in local language for our children.
“My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dokora. If you go to China, the people in China learn Chinese until they attain their degrees. The same applies to Yugoslavia and Cuba. My question is when are we going to respect our local languages such as Shona and Ndebele so that we are able to work mathematical problems either in Ndebele or in Shona? When are we ever going to reach that stage because our people are failing examinations because they are using a language that is foreign to them? Those that are from the east come here and they will be speaking Chinese. They are building structures here yet they are good at it. When are we going to change our mindset so that our education is administered in our local language for our children? I thank you”, he said.
“I thank Hon. Chinotimba for the pertinent question. In his question I get the chance to explain to this august House that we now have the position that has been agreed to by the Cabinet Committee in terms of how four year olds up to Grade 2 are to be instructed at school. They will be instructed in the languages that have been accepted in our Constitution. That is the focus that we are now going to take and those are the steps that we are going to implement. We now have teachers that are advancing themselves in those languages such as Nambya, Tonga, Shangani, Venda and other languages.
The second part of his question is when will we have languages that are going to be used for mathematical problems? The advancement in languages is also part of development. It is a process and not an event. Even the English language that we speak in this country proficiently did not start as the English language that we have known. It is dynamic and it borrows from other languages and it was perfected. My Ministry is not alone in doing that. We work hand in glove with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development so that there is development in our languages. I thank you”, replied Dr Dokora