GOVERNMENT has advised politicians not to misconstrue the newly-introduced policy on education to teach children in one of the seven local languages from grades one to four for political expediency.
Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Childhood John Phiri says Government is aware that some politicians want to make political mileage out of the new policy.
Dr Phiri said this on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZNBC) Sunday Interview.
“Do not use language to build up emotions in people because the consequences are dire.
“Government is aware that some politicians are going round peddling lies that the PF administration wants to use the policy to make Bemba as a dominant language,” he said.
Dr Phiri explained that there has been no dramatic departure from the previous policy where local languages have been taught at grade one level.
“This new education policy is meant to help the majority of our children access education but I am surprised that only the component on language has been isolated and blown out of proportion,” the minister said.
Dr Phiri said scientific evidence has shown that children grasp things easily when they use a language they are familiar with.
He said for a long time, the nation has been zoned in Tonga, Bemba, Lozi, Kaonde, Nyanja, Lunda and Luvale languages.
“Please don’t use the issue of language for emotive reasons. Most of these languages are dialects. For example, I came from a home where we spoke Tumbuka but I was taught in Nyanja,” Dr Phiri said.