IsiNdebele teaching in Buhera / Buyela excites the chief

THE Ndebele community of Buhera in Manicaland province has praised the government for reintroducing isiNdebele teaching in their local school, saying it is important for cultural preservation.

The people under Chief Gwebu had been pushing for the teaching of isiNdebele in Gwebu Primary School as the educational institution is dominated by the Ndebele community.

A media team visited Chief Gwebu’s area over the weekend and spoke with community leaders, who highlighted the importance of the Ndebele language to them.

Acting Chief Gwebu said he should commit the government to have isiNdebele taught in Gwebu primary school in recognition of the language.

In the past, the Ndebele community was forced to send their children to Matabeleland or the Midlands to continue learning isiNdebele, which was no longer offered in schools under Chief Gwebu.

“We are grateful that after engaging the government, isiNdebele has been reintroduced in Gwebu primary school. This is a good development for the preservation of our culture and identity. For example, some of We only learned shona in school because isiNdebele was not taught here.

My older brothers are the ones who learned isiNdebele during the standard scoring system. Now we have two teachers teaching isiNdebele at Gwebu Primary School and interestingly it is not only children from the Ndebele community who are learning the language but even the Shona speaking community around us. We have two Ndebele teachers who have been deployed to the school,” Acting Chief Gwebu said.

He said the community is however concerned that isiNdebele is not yet taught at secondary level.

“So this means our children are not going to secondary level with the language. We have secondary school in Gwebu but it does not teach isiNdebele and we are lobbying the government to he is deploying isiNdebele teachers to our school,” he said.

Gwebu Village Chief, Mr Nicodemus Gwebu said the significance of isiNdebele was laid bare during this year’s Independence Day community commemorations where students charmed the community reciting Ndebele praise poetry.

“It even excited our local MP (Cde) Soul Dzuma, who reiterated that this language should not be allowed to die in this region. The children sang the national anthem in isiNdebele and recited several poems during the localized independence We are grateful that our children do not only speak isiNdebele at home but also at school because if they only speak it at home away from their peers, the language can easily be distorted because they won’t use it much,” Mr. Gwebu said.

Dzuma, MP for Buhera West, said he supports the teaching of isiNdebele, not only in Gwebu area but in the entire constituency.

Chief Gwebu (left) with the help of village chief Nicodemus Gwebu and chief’s secretary Philip Gwebu express the need for Ndebele school teachers in their area

He said learning local languages ​​would create national cohesion as opposed to the “us versus them” mentality left behind by colonial rule.

“I have engaged the District Schools Inspector on the issue of isiNdebele education in Gwebu area as there are Ndebele speaking people who have their chief and reside mainly in Ward 3 .

We do not want only the Ndebele community to learn isiNdebele, but we want our people, even those of Shona origin, to learn isiNdebele, because it is one of the national languages. We want more schools to teach isiNdebele in Buhera as this will help fight discrimination and tribalism, a system that was rooted in the colonial system,” he said.

Dzuma said there is a need to promote indigenous languages ​​as they will improve communication among citizens.
Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Edgar Moyo said the government is aware of the lack of isiNdebele teachers in Buhera and is working to address it.

“Initially, there were teachers, but over the years, the recruitment of teachers for the school has been difficult. But we asked the provincial department of education of Manicaland to solve this problem. Because without teaching the local language, this means that the language, culture and the tide of the local people were dying, so teachers have been recruited at primary level and work is being done to have them be recruited at the secondary level,” Deputy Minister Moyo said.

He said the government was recruiting isiNdebele teachers for Gwebu region in line with the national policy that no community and no place should be left behind. “So, we are reaching out to every community because no one or place should be left behind as President Mnangagwa has enunciated,” he said.

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