PRIMARY and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora told Parliament yesterday that the teaching of foreign languages under the proposed draft curriculum review would be optional.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
In a ministerial statement addressed to both Houses of Parliament, Dokora said the government was still committed to introducing more local languages into the education system with 250 teachers already being trained at Great Zimbabwe University to teach Tonga, Nambya, Shangani and Venda.
His statement came after MPs grilled him over the decision to introduce foreign languages such as Swahili, French, Portuguese and Chinese in the school curriculum at a time most local languages were not being taught in schools.
“The draft framework for primary and secondary schools will guide learning and teaching during the next seven years and it will include expression to national efforts as reflected in ZimAsset, the Constitution, regional and international treaties to which the country is signatory, and generate views and suggestions collected during the nationwide consultations,” Dokora said.
“A total of 961 000 submissions by different sections of the population were collected at different districts, where stakeholders said Maths, Science, technical and vocational training, heritage studies and humanities, ICT (information and communications technology) and life skills must form part of the curriculum,” he said.
Musikavanhu MP Prosper Mutseyami asked Dokora to explain how industrial attachment for secondary school students was going to be undertaken given that a high number of university students were failing to secure places for internship.
“The term ‘industrial attachment’ is not correct because the right term to use is life skills orientation,” he said.
“These are programmes that will ensure students acquire skills for work or that will prepare them for ‘A’ Levels.”
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on ICT chaired by Nelson Chamisa recommended the reduction of voice call tariffs as they were currently the most expensive in Africa.
The committee proposed crafting of laws such as the Cyber Security Bill, Electronic Transactions Bill and Data Protection Bill to manage mobile payment systems.