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UZ to unveil Tonga programmes

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The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (Osisa) are finalising modalities aimed at introducing Tonga language as one of the programmes to be taught at the institution of higher learning later this year.

Osisa yesterday said they will next week hold a Tonga language, culture and development symposium to finalise the deal.

The symposium, scheduled to be held in Binga between June 13 and 15, would be attended by members of the Tonga community from Zimbabwe and Zambia, Osisa and UZ representatives.

“The Department of African Languages and Literature at the University of Zimbabwe wishes to introduce the study of more indigenous languages starting with Tonga in September 2012,” Osisa said in a statement.

“The aim of the symposium in Binga is to involve the Tonga community in the process of introducing the study of their mother tongue at university level.”

Although there are about 16 indigenous African languages in Zimbabwe, only Shona and Ndebele have been taught at the UZ since 1960, Osisa said.

“The exact number of Tonga-speaking people in Zimbabwe has not been established because, according to the Tonga people themselves, they have been under-counted,” it added.

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