OPPOSITION parties have called on the Primary and Secondary Education ministry to withdraw a new Ndebele Grade One
Environmental Science textbook over translations of names and nouns.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
The book, titled Step In, Environmental Science, Grade 1 Learners Book, was jointly written by Blessing Chabikwa, Luigina Shaw, David Witt and Sylvia Witt.
The book, in one instance, teaches early childhood learners that ears and the head, when translated to Ndebele, mean indleve and amakhanda, yet it should be indlebe and ikhanda.
Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora could not be reached for comment, as his mobile phone went unanswered, while his deputy, Paul Mavhima, said he was out of the country.
“I am currently in the United States. (Will be) back in office on Tuesday,” Mavhima said in his response sent via WhatsApp.
Zapu, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and MDC led by Welshman Ncube condemned the wrong translations and others as “yet another violation, not only of our children’s rights, but of the general Ndebele speaking population”.
“It’s a no brainer they must be removed and destroyed forthwith. How do you teach wrong things? There is no excuse,” Jacob Mafume, the PDP spokesperson said yesterday.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa added: “Zapu demands the immediate withdrawal of the above-mentioned book both from the school curriculum and bookstore shelves, while discussions and revisions go on it.
“Ndebele language experts must be immediately engaged to come up with properly translated learners’ material. There must be immediate implementation of devolution of power in the country. This will give overrunning of education to local people, who will adequately address the local learners’ needs unlike this one size fits all approach by this corrupt government.”
Discent Bajila, an MDC standing committee member, commented: “The future of Matabeleland, as a part of Zimbabwe, is in danger. Those interested in rescuing it must collaborate in the persecution, prosecution and correction of publishers such as this one.
“It is not those who call for secession or restoration who are retrogressive. Rather it is those who publish these things and distribute them in our schools. Very soon we will organise for massive burning of such books. Our forefathers learnt isiNdebele at home, if needs be our children will just have to.”