Mother tongue education in the official minority languages in Zimbabwe
AbstractThe government of Zimbabwe officially declared that with effect from January 2002, it was to implement the use and teaching of the officia minority languages, namely Venda, Tonga, Nambya, Kalanga, Sotho and Shangani, as the media of instruction and subjects in primary schools in areas where they are spoken. The Ministry stated that these languages would be introduced to a grade per year, increasing until they could be taught at grade seven by 2005. However, the reality at ground level reveals otherwise. After this welcomed move, there has been little commitment or urgency to implement this policy. Is it a question of the purpose for the encouragement and support by official policy of mother tongue education in the official minority languages? Is it a question of cost-benefit analysis? Is this not a violation of linguistic human rights in education, particularly the right to mother tongue education? This article seeks to address the above questions in view of mother tongue education in the official minority languages in Zimbabwe as well as to assess the impact of this delay in the implementation of the policy on the learners’ learning experience.
S.Afr.J.Afr.Lang., 31(2) 2011