Insiza North villagers in Matabeleland South have raised concern over the introduction of Shona subject at Mpalawane Primary School indicating that the move will overshadow the learning of Ndebele as a local language.
Richard Dube, a villager, told Radio Dialogue that parents are opposed to the decision of introducing the language. Dube said the district is inhabited by Ndebele speakers and they feel the initiation of Shona is a deliberate move to further marginalise Matabeleland.
“Our understanding of the education curriculum is that primary students should only be taught languages that are dominant in their particular communities. It is very disappointing that authorities have decided to introduce Shona language in a Ndebele dominated community and we feel its deliberate,” said Dube.
He further said government should come up with a clear policy to govern the teaching of indigenous language without causing confusion.
Matabeleland South provincial education director Tumisang Tabela said the education policy stipulates that all national languages should be taught in schools. She however, said the dominant language in a particular area should be given first priority.
She said: “The teaching of local languages depends on the size of the population, but what is important is that neither of them should overtake the other.”
Political activist Mbuso Fuzwayo blamed leaders in Matabeleland for failing to champion the interests of the region.
“If you look at how our leaders from this region such as (Governor Angeline) Masuku they deny that there is marginalisation and is an indication that our leaders are failing the region,” said Fuzwayo.
He said it is unfortunate that non-Ndebele speaking people are being deployed to teach in schools where Ndebele is dominant.