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Minority languages for JM Nkomo Polytechnic

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Higher Education deputy minister Lutho Tapela says the government will next year introduce a minority languages department at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic in Gwanda to promote teaching of local languages at tertiary institutions.

Report by Khanyile Mlotshwa Staff Reporter

Addressing delegates attending a national indaba on minority languages and minority cultures in  Bulawayo yesterday,  Tapela said the programme was also aimed at bringing minority languages into  the mainstream education system.

“In as far as education is concerned, we are trying hard to promote minority languages. In Plumtree, we are teaching Kalanga from Grade Zero up to Grade Seven and we examine, though not externally, but internally as schools. In Mangwe, Unicef has come in and will be providing 28 000 books for 18 000 pupils in the district. The remainder of books will be donated to communities. That can be done throughout the country,” Tapela said.

“However, that is at the foundation of the education sector. At the roof, we are going to introduce a minority languages department at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic. We will do that as soon as next year.”

Tapela said the department would be introduced at several other teachers’ training colleges around the country.

“We are doing the same in Mashonaland because the distant drums are telling us that Mashonaland also wants to split language wise. There is no language called Shona. When I was an examiner, we used to mark pupils wrong if they used a Korekore word in an examination. We insisted on Zezuru, which is another Shona dialect or language,” he said.

Tapela said minority language speakers should be proud and protect their cultures.

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