Binga Council Bans , Ndebele In Primary School Curriculum , To Promote Tonga.

This is despite the fact that the council has no power to make such decisions which solely lie with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

The local authority pulled a shocker late last year after passing a resolution banning the teaching of Ndebele at council schools, a move it said was aimed at promoting the Tonga language and preserving traditional values.

The matter was brought before a full council in September last year and it was resolved that teaching of Ndebele should be banned from the Binga primary school curriculum.

Councillors reportedly asked why Binga district was teaching two local languages, Ndebele and Tonga, while schools in areas such as Kamativi were teaching Nambya and those in Lupane teaching Ndebele only.

Council chairperson Clr Dube Munkombwe confirmed last week that all schools in Binga were now teaching Tonga only.

“It’s true, schools have implemented the resolution 100 percent. However, we encountered some problems in Lusulu but we asked the concerned headmasters to leave the schools if they didn’t want to comply with the resolution.

“The language has been taught in schools since January as our resolution was operational beginning 2015. We are not fighting anyone but just preserving our identity,” said Clr Munkombwe.

Matabeleland North provincial education deputy director Mr Mkhulumeli Pilime said the Binga council has no mandate to ban the teaching of any language in schools.

“As far as we are concerned both Ndebele and Tonga are being taught in Binga schools. We are not aware that Ndebele is not being taught in Binga. The RDC has no mandate to ban the teaching of Ndebele in schools as it is the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education,” said Mr Pilime.

However, Clr Mukombwe said the decision was made to fulfil the provision of the new Constitution that Tonga is an officially recognised language.

The full council meeting also resolved that those who wanted their children to learn Ndebele should transfer them to Nkayi or Lupane districts. In 2011, a milestone was achieved when Tonga was officially tested in Grade 7 exams for the very first time. Source – Sunday News

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