Use of local languages in lower grades a success

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THE recent implementation of the revised national education curriculum by Government, which introduced teaching of local language syllabus from Pre-School to Grade four level in Primary Schools, is progressing well in Choma district, Southern Province. Above, Grade One pupils at Kalundu Ka Maria Primary School were found cheerfully learning how to construct sentences in Citonga in their classroom.
THE recent implementation of the revised national education curriculum by Government, which introduced teaching of local language syllabus from Pre-School to Grade four level in Primary Schools, is progressing well in Choma district, Southern Province. Above, Grade One pupils at Kalundu Ka Maria Primary School were found cheerfully learning how to construct sentences in Citonga in their classroom.

Ministry of General Education Director of Standards and Curriculum Sunday Mwape says the policy by government to change the teaching strategies from English to local languages in lower grades has been a success.

Dr. Mwape said that children in lower grades are now able to write without difficulties because it is easy for a child to link the outdoor experiences to the classroom activities.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today, Dr. Mwape stated that lower grades are now producing better results since the change was implemented.

He said the quality of teaching and learning at classroom level was affected when teaching was done in the English language to learners.

“Children are more comfortable to interact and learn when the language being used is best understood by the child,” he said.

Dr. Mwape stated that according to a research that was conducted by specialists in the teaching profession, it was revealed that it is prudent to restructure the teaching and learning strategies for learners.

The Director of Standards stated that the curriculum is helpful to children who do not have a chance of attending early childhood education as it helps them to move the home culture into school.

Dr. Mwape further expressed concern that parents have been misunderstanding the policy noting that this has been the main challenge the Ministry is facing.

He said the local language curriculum is not an issue that will soon be changed but a policy that will be followed as it has turned out to be helpful.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. It will be a success. Its time Africans became proud of who they are. That pride will take us forward

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    • Yes it will. Our language and our culture is all we possess 100% and that no one can take away from us. No need to hide it.

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    • Better to incorporate global examples too. The world has become small. USA elementary schools are teaching African concepts earlier than before. We need to be aware so we don’t lag behind in the process. I know how difficult it can be for a child from rural zambia to straight away be subjected to all English learning. I was raised up in the village and that was one of my challenges then; self expression even when I knew what I had to say or do.

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    • Wonderful! Zambians are the people that kill their own languages. Everyone speaks in English to their children, its a disgrace!

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    • This is only going to entrench tribalism in Zambia. Don’t we have enough problems with that in our politics already?

      Just look at all the civil wars in Africa. Every one of them is based on TRIBE and LANGUAGE.

      Is that the world we want our children to inherit? Better we have a lingua franca that puts everyone on an equal basis. And that is international.

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    • I don’t agree with you because this is dividing us and promoting tribalism. Genesis 11:6 says when the people are one and have one language nothing they imagine to do can fail. Look around the world most developed countries have either one language or utmost three and in such cases theres one prominent language. Before Jesus came He had to wait for the Romans to unity everyone and have one language for Him to come and carry out the ministry effectively. Language barrier retards development. The languages a forward looking country should be promoting is Chinese, French and Portuguese because these are official languages of our neighbors and one is where we are getting most of the goods in the nation. Is that difficulty to reason?

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    • Bakateka ba Trumpu, balandila ati ifi fwalo fyaba nge misula. Aba bana mulefunda mufitundu bakafilwa ukulemba amshindanu yapa gradi seveni patu yaba muchisungu.

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  2. I have LOST Zambian accent and i cant even speak vernacular all because I live in Europe now.

    Imagine how backwards I would have been if I stayed there?

    Thanks

    BB2014,2016

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    • @Mushota, shows like if you are saying tame a wild dog, it will change barking to a chihuahua? Did you also forget how to put Nicks between your, but you only do european way “mouth”, then artificial insemination for babies?.

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    • Who cheated you that you have lost the Zambian accent when you left Zambia after the age of 12? That accent is still part of you. It will never go away.

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    • @mama Mushyota, we mwaushi. Your commentaries are just for purpose of being funny in a low class way. I doubt very much if you’re a person that’s proud of herself. The better from now going forward you spend much of your time trying to be and making sure your display becomes normal.

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  3. Better to adopt the neutral Swahili rather than the sick & damned Bemba-nization we see going on.

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  4. Local languages is okay in other provinces except in Lsk. It’s not right to impose ichinyanja in all schools in Lsk because Lsk is our metropolitan city.

    I strongly feel each tribe should be represented in Lsk schools. Our Children should be able to learn Tonga in Lsk schools and Bemba.

    Kaingu the useless stupid minister imposed Njanja on our children. When NDC wins we are going to reverse this illegal imposition of Ichinyanja on our Children in Lsk.

    It’s just that many people in zambia don’t think to see the economic disadvantages on this issue. Chishimba kanyama who thinks he is the only economist in zambia has failed to see it.

    Reject the use of Ichinyanja only in Lsk schools because Lsk is a metropolitan city. For big brains only!

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    • You are another nincompoop, this is only up to grade 4 if you cared to read the article.

      Who are you anyway?

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

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    • Fake PhD Mushota. I’m most educated than u. U have your PhD in marriage to a very old white smelling stupid man

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  5. Nomba tapali ulembele mu chibemba nangu mu silozi. Bonse mulelemba mu chisungu. Efinshi ifi. Na mu nganda ya mafunde tulefwaya bonse balelanda indimi shabo, silozi kikaonde, luvale, Tonga. Napwisha!

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    • @Apostle, uuuukikikki but you got us musaa. Manje Mwata, mukwambai they should use amalanguji yonse mu Parliament, like UN general Assembly??

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  6. Our Tumbuka language should be made national language since it is also closer to Swahili and we’re small tribe so the “tribal domination” factor doesn’t arise.

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  7. I was on a flight from Nairobi to Lusaka on a Kenya Airways Embraer EMB E90 Jet, I sat next to Tanzanian brother, when I asked him how he was he replied in Swahili..when I tried to converse further I reached a brick wall as he couldn’t understand English, his documents on his phone were in Swahili…so I turned on the in-flight entertainment and watched a movie. He politely nagged me and asked something in Swahili and I couldn’t make out what it was until I realized he too wanted to watch a movie on his screen but Swahili was not available on language option.
    What I am trying to point to is that we live in a Global Village, Tanzanians do not use English in their schools and put themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to doing business.

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    • What a pathetic unnecessary tale. Keep it in your underpants next time. No one cares about your journey. Remain in obscurity

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

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    • Haha , a Zambian and T’zedian on a Kenyan airplane.When is it gonna be a Mozambican and Zimbabwean on a Zambian airliner?

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    • Its a pathetic and fictitious tale Yes Mushota because Jay Jay implies English is the universal language for his vision of a global village. I lived in Russia for 5 years in a town where noone spoke English and the Russians never felt they were disadvantaged in business. Nor do the Japanese, nor do the Norwegians, nor do the Danish. Nor do the Thais nor do the Brazillians
      Seeing everything through English is a narrowminded way of looking at the world

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    • Swahili is a lingua franca in Kenya as well but that has not stopped tribalism. You need to realize that there is a whole lot of difference between tribalism and language chauvinism. I have read not one posting that sounds sufficiently informed on this matter on this site.

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  8. Its all good but don’t leave English behind.

    English is still the language of business. Why do you think Kenyans are taking Tanzanian jobs?

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    • That is your opinion. You are just a nonentity.

      So your point on Kenyans taking other people’s jobs is unfounded.

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

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  9. bane this only goes upto grade 4 but thereafter its the Queens language, my son will never pass in chinsenga (Very sweet language) and i dont care , i always speak to my kids in english because my wife is a chinese and i am a nsenga, so to strike a balance english ONLY …

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  10. In a country with 73 tribes …. I don’t think this is a great idea. Let us just stick to English in schools and it is up to the parents to teach their children their own tribe. I went to school at kikombe primary in Solwezi and am not kaonde by tribe but half toka leya and half bemba and we never spoke English at home but learnt it in school and today not only do I speak good English but also speak excellent toka leya and bemba and the same goes for my siblings and unlike mushota though I have lived in the UK for over 20 years, I still got my Zambian accent and I love it.

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    • Stop viewing this article through tribal lenses because it had nothing to with that. Local language are only part of integrating the kids schools and open up their thinking capacity faster. Once that is achieved then it becomes easier for gem to understand and relate anything in English. It’s not local languages upto university please. If you want your kids to be tribally inclined take them to gwembe valley where they will learn your typical tonga.

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  11. Always so many sad people taking out their disappointment with their sad lives every day on this blog. Waking up early bells and staying up late at night to justify their existence by insulting others. Pathetic.

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  12. The date on the Board should be October in vernacular. Not Okutoba! The month October has a name in IciBemba. Please don’t confuse the children.

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  13. This policy is discriminatory. In Lusaka for example, the first written local language was Lenje when pioneer Catholic missionary Fr Jules Torrend, a Frenchman, opened Kasisi Mission around 1905. From that time Lenje was used as a medium of instruction in early education and the conduct of Catholic Mass till after independence when the local language policy changed by grouping languages in closely related tongues to save money. This was understandable. Lenje was grouped with Tonga and Lenje kids started learning basic literacy in the Tonga language. But there is something else the government did which many do not realise. The Tonga language was only taken to Lenje villages but was excluded in towns such as Lusaka and Kabwe where non-native languages from other provinces were imposed…

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  14. It only becomes a problem when they tackle the topics on sex education which have now been introduced in lower grades

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  15. Please consider the Global Languages as well.. Incorporate both English and Local Languages. Us Africans or Zambia are not living in a BUBBLE but a GLOBAL VILLAGE…

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  16. The discriminatory aspects of the local language policy are at the root of the imperial attitude which is often seen among some members of the tribes whose languages were elevated above others in their interactions with fellow citizens staring with this site. Is this how you build a nation? What is happening in Spain’s Catalonia region?

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  17. There’s nothing wrong with teaching in local languages, the understanding at the onset is better, English is better understood when mixed with another language. Most of us even after University don’t still know some terms in English. Our environment is local and even our marketing is done in local languages, imagine marketing your products to Farmers??? You can regret not knowing the local language.

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Comments are closed.