Kalanga textbooks launched

Updated: January 28, 2014

by Pindai Dube, reprinted from Daily News

BULAWAYO – A community development organisation last week launched the first Kalanga language textbooks which will be used in the country’s primary and secondary schools.

The textbooks which were launched on Friday in Plumtree, will be distributed in Matabeleland South where the language is now being taught.

Tshidzanani Malaba the secretary for Kalanga Language and Cultural Development Association (KLCDA) said this was done in line with the new constitution which now recognises Kalanga as one of the country’s official languages.

“Under this programme we wrote textbooks from Grade 1 to 7 with volunteer Kalanga teachers and committed members of the KLCDA. It was not an easy task as it required a lot of commitment, resources and time. We then approached Education Transition Fund who agreed to print our books before publication,” Malaba told Daily News.

Kalanga language is now being taught in schools in Bulilima, Mangwe and Matopo districts in Matabeleland South province where majority of Bakalanga people are found as well as Tsholotsho district in Matabeleland North province.

Malaba added that up until the launch, Kalanga language was being taught in schools in these four districts of the country without textbooks.

Speaking during the launch which was held at Plumtree High School and attended by Bakalanga elders, traditional chiefs, teachers and schools headmasters — Matabeleland South Provincial Education director Thumisang Thabela said school heads in that area do not need to be Kalanga in order to promote the language.

Thabela said all they needed to do was respect the BaKalanga community.

KLCDA vice president, Mclean Bhala who is also Lupane State University vice Chancellor said: “These books do not belong to KLCDA they belong to the Education ministry. What belongs to KLCDA are intellectual property rights hence no one can change the content of the text books without our consent.”

The launch of Kalanga textbooks comes after the recent introduction of Tonga language teachings in Binga district schools.

The UZ Department of African Languages also recently said it had partnered with the University of Zambia to teach Tonga since there are no local lecturers for the language.

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