THE teaching of Luvale in Chief Ishindi’s area in North Western-Province will continue and it is not correct for traditional leaders to gag school authorities from implementing Government policies, Education Minister Michael Kaingu has said.
Dr Kaingu has maintained that his ministry would go ahead and implement the teaching of Luvale in North-Western Province because Government did not have the capacity to print educational material in all the 73 ethic languages. Dr Kaingu said in an interview that Luvale would continue to be taught in North-Western Province despite recent orders by Chief Ishindi to ban the use of Luvale as a language of instruction in schools in his chiefdom.
Senior Chief Ishindi of the Lunda-speaking people in Zambezi district last week warned that teaching Luvale language as a language of instruction in schools was not welcome in his chiefdom. The traditional leader has banned Luvale as a medium of instruction in schools in his chiefdom, a decision that has not settled well with Government. Dr Kaingu appealed to all traditional leaders to desist from divisive tendencies by accepting to live as Zambians and embrace every tribal grouping regardless of variations.
He said the banning of local languages as a medium of instrucction in schools had the potential to ethnically divide the country, a vice President Edgar Lungu has consistently condemned and preached against.
“We have no problems in having Luvale as a medium of instruction in schools in North-Western Province. It should be made clear by all traditional leaders that it would not be advisable to frustrate the implementation of Government policies because the traditional leadership is part of the governance system.
“We will go ahead and implement the zonal languages. Let me take advantage of this occasion to make an appeal to all Zambians; our royal highnesses that we are One Zambia One nation,”Mr Kaingu said.
He explained that before the curriculum was implemented, Government and its stakeholders held discussions on how best to be implement the use of local languages as a means of instructions in school.
He said it had been agreed that local languages be used as language of instruction in schools in lower grades as a means of protecting the country’s tribes from getting eroded by foreign languages.
“We decided as a ministry and the stakeholders to zone the languages in Zambia.
“As you are aware, Zambia has 73 ethnic groups. There was no way we could be able to print books in 73 languages, it is impossible, it is unattainable because the cost would consume the ministry’s budget allocation,” Dr Kaingu said.
He observed that Zambia had 73 tribes and it was not possible for Government to have all these languagesin the education curriculum for the lower primary schools.