HomeNewsBinga bans teaching of Ndebele

Binga bans teaching of Ndebele

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THE Binga Rural District Council (RDC) pulled a shocker last Friday after passing a resolution banning the teaching of Ndebele in Binga schools in a move they said was aimed at promoting the Tonga language and preserving traditional values.

RICHARD MUPONDE
SENIOR REPORTER

Binga is predominantly inhabited by the Tonga tribe and Friday’s decision was taken after the community allegedly raised concerns about the death of the Tonga language and values in the district as some primary schools were said to be teaching five subjects to accommodate the Ndebele language.

The matter was brought before a full council meeting on Friday and it was resolved that teaching of the Ndebele language should totally be barred from the Binga primary schools’ curriculum.

The councillors reportedly asked why Binga district was teaching two vernacular languages while schools in areas such as Kamativi were teaching Nambya and those in Lupane teaching Ndebele only.

Binga RDC chairperson Dube Munkombwe confirmed the decision yesterday saying it was to to fulfil the provisions of the new Constitution that recognise Tonga as an official language.

“That’s very true; it’s confirmed. As you know, Binga is in Zimbabwe, not Zimbabwe in Binga. We are governed by the Constitution. You are fully aware that the new Constitution assented to by President Robert Mugabe last year made Tonga an official language,” said Munkombwe.

“The reason why we voted ‘Yes’ for the draft constitution in Binga was because Copac (Constitution Select Committee) had said that Tonga was going to be an official language. That’s the only reason why we voted yes. We had been fighting for that even before the Ian Smith regime (colonial government) was in power,” he said.

Copac was charged with the drawing up of a new Constitution for Zimbabwe by the government in 2009.

The full council meeting was attended by Binga senator Chief Siansali and his counterpart Chief Sikalenge as observers.

Binga Ward 4 councillor Elmon Mudenda said the full council meeting resolved that those who wanted their children to learn Ndebele should transfer them to Nkayi or Lupane districts.

He said although the move would make them sound like tribalists, the issue was that Binga had been marginalised for a very long time with pupils being forced to learn other languages while neglecting their native Tonga.

In 2011, a major milestone was achieved when Tonga was officially tested in the Grade 7 examinations for the first time.

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