PRIMARY and Secondary Education permanent secretary Sylvia Utete-Masango on Friday applauded the Italian embassy for taking practical steps in support of the new curriculum after the translation of the world renowned Italian folktale, Pinocchio into Shona.
BY ANESU MUSHAWATU
Utete-Masango said the new curriculum, among other things, stressed the mother tongue as a medium for instruction for infants.
“The story book is a welcome development which adds to our literature, so the fact that the booklet has been translated into one of our indigenous languages also buttresses what the curriculum is talking about in terms of the media of instruction for infants being the mother tongue and the book comes in handy as our little ones can tell stories through the pictures,” the permanent secretary said, who was the guest of honour at the launch of the Shona version of Pinocchio at Harare City Library.
She thanked the Italian embassy for spearheading the process and there was need for other indigenous languages to be catered for.
Italian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Enrico De Agostini, told NewsDay Life & Style on the sidelines of the launch that the desire to provide reading materials to Zimbabweans in their local languages prompted the translation.
“We heard some time ago that a lot of Zimbabwean children do not have enough books in their languages, which means that when they read, it’s only for homework, making the book a source of pain and when they grow, they do not associate it with entertainment, which would then raise a generation which does not have a reading culture,” he said.
The novel was originally written in Italian by Carlo Collodi in 1893 and translated into 260 languages worldwide making it the most translated non-religious book in the world.
The Shona version was translated by former National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director Elvas Mari and author Ignatius Mabasa and illustrated by Antonella Bargione.
The process was supported by Enbee, Lotus Stationery, Graniteside Chemicals and Rank. Plans are underway to distribute 2 000 copies of the translation around the country.