Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

14 February 2013

Zambia: PF Makes Local Languages Compulsory in Schools

The Patriotic Front government has made local languages compulsory from Grades one to four effective January 2014.

This comes barely four weeks after the ruling PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba announced that speaking English in schools was colonial and that the education system in Zambia needed restructuring to accommodate local languages.

Kabimba made the announcement in January 2013 and as is becoming a pattern by the PF government to act on impromptu decisions, the overhaul is already in top gear with trials in selected schools already underway.

Education minister Dr John Phiri has said incorporating local languages in schools is one of the key components in the new curriculum framework and that that the pilot project has since commenced from January to April this year in selected districts.

Dr Phiri is hopeful there will be more successes once the framework is evaluated and implemented in the new education system.

He said the framework will also be extended from early education to secondary education.

Dr Phiri said this will allow pupils to use one of the seven languages as a medium of communication in place of English.

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