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Zimbabwean teachers required to learn 3 local languages

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The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Amon Murwira has reaffirmed the government’s policy requiring teachers to learn three local languages besides their mother tongue.

As reported by the Chronicle, Murwira said the existing policy (introduced in 2018) mandates teachers to master three local languages in addition to their native tongue upon graduation.

He was responding to Senator Annah Shiri (representing people with disabilities) who had inquired about Government initiatives to incorporate minority languages like sign language into tertiary education. Said Murwira:

We aim to have the expertise in all the languages. If you get there, you will have people speaking Chewa, isiNdebele, Shona et cetera.

At the United College of Education in Bulawayo, you will also see that we have introduced special language programmes, including Mutare Teachers’ College.

We are appealing to the Senators and all the Parliamentarians to continue providing more financial support towards this direction. We must leave a legacy of peace and treasures.

Matabeleland North Senator Rebecca Fanuel said the deployment of non-Tonga speaking teachers to Binga has resulted in poor pass rates, particularly in primary school. She said:

The President said no one should be left behind, but I have realised that in our district, Binga, we are still lagging.

Learners in primary schools are not doing well as teachers being employed in Binga cannot speak or write Tonga, although we are grateful that a few have been employed.

Why is the employment of teachers in Binga only for people from other provinces who do not speak our local language? What is the Government doing to employ teachers who are from Binga?

In response, Murwira said:

This policy of having teachers that can speak the language of the child is alive and we are implementing it to the extent that one of the issues that we have done in terms of teachers’ colleges in that in 2019, we started Hwange Teachers’ College where we recruited 150 students from Hwange who speak Nambya and some who speak Tonga.

So, the policy there is very clear. In terms of the speed of movement, this is what we always need to improve every day because we cannot say we are 100 per cent correct, but the direction is correct and we will be moving in that direction and continue to move in that direction.

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