Primary and Secondary Education minister, Cain Mathema says government will soon embark on a nationwide drive to promote previously marginalised indigenous languages.
Addressing journalist during the launch of the indigenous languages radio lesson development workshop yesterday, minister Mathema said his ministry was working towards revitalising local languages.
“It gives me great pleasure to take this opportunity to acknowledge the celebration of identity, diversity and heritage through the development of indigenous languages radio lesson scriptwriting workshop,
“The ministry supports the growth of indigenous languages in this 21st century era. The competency-based curriculum has a policy for indigenous languages as a medium of instruction in order to support Barwe, Chewa, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Kalanga, Sesotho, Shona, Tonga, Venda, Xangani and Xhosa at infant level. The role of indigenous language in sustainable development has to be emphasised from early childhood learning.” He said.
Minister Mathema said it is vital for learners understand and learn all indigenous languages.
He said the knowledge of all indigenous languages is important for future generations use.
“The airing of all languages revitalises and maintains the languages for everyday and future generations use. The capacity of indigenous languages or voice’s space in popular culture cannot be ignored and learners need to be made aware of opportunities that exist in social media, prose, poetry and film, among others,” Minister Mathema added.
Since the adoption of Zimbabwe’s 2013 Constitution, the country now has 16 official languages, namely Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa.