Tonga, Nambya elevated to exam levels
Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Reporter
Tonga and Nambya will be examinable up to ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level starting next year in line with the new Constitution’s thrust to ensure Zimbabwe’s indigenous languages are safeguarded and saved from extinction, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.
Addressing a six-member team appointed to lead the curriculum review process, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora said languages should not be a zone of conflict but be used to build bridges and synergies.
“The languages are 16 of course but some steps have already been taken in anticipation of an exercise like this (making indigenous languages examinable),” he said.
“We now know Tonga is on its way to Advanced Level studies and Nambya should be next virtually zoned in a district, then we will have Venda and Shangani.
“The examining authority as well as the curriculum must speak to each other. We want to do it carefully step by step as a managed process.”
Tonga received official language status in the country’s new Constitution last year alongside Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) recognises 16 languages as official languages instead of previously when only English, Shona and Ndebele were the official languages.
“We want to promote our own indigenous languages and mainstream them into our teaching curricula,” Minister Dokora said.
“We have to incorporate even science subjects into our languages and promote cultural diversity.”
The previous Constitution recognised only Ndebele, Shona and English and compelled the education curricula to encompass these languages as examinable subjects in schools.