MSU to translate primary science textbooks into vernacular
Gweru (New Ziana) –Primary school science textbooks will soon be available in the main vernacular languages, Shona and Ndebele, an official has said.
Midlands State University (MSU) National Language Institute executive director Professor Wiseman Magwa said this during the launch of the national commemoration of the African Languages Week and the International Mothers Language Day in Gweru on Monday.
The theme for this year’s edition of the countrywide African Languages Week is: African Languages for Sustainable Food Security, Cultural and Socio-economic Development for the Africa We Want” with the slogan “#What We Speak and What We Eat Makes Africa Great!
The commemoration was held to promote indigenous languages as official languages to be used in schools, universities, courts, other public institutions and in all other domains of society.
“We are currently working on a big national project to translate primary school level science textbooks into Shona and Ndebele,” Prof Magwa said.
Although a difficult task, the project will see children at primary level having a better understanding of science as they will learn it in a language they are familiar with.
The primary science textbooks translation comes soon after the translation of the Highway Code by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development into Shona and Ndebele.
“We just finished it and those who want to write provisional examinations can just go and indicate whether they want to take the tests in Ndebele or Shona at their nearest Vehicle Inspection Department depots,” he said.
The MSU National Language Institute has also done major language projects of national importance through translating documents into officially recognised indigenous languages of Zimbabwe.
The institute has translated the Constitution of Zimbabwe, National Development Strategy 1, Covid-19 awareness messages, the National Youth Policy and the National Disability Act.
Recently it translated President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 43rd Independence Day speech in all the country’s recognised languages including sign language and braille.
Prof Magwa said the MSU National Language Institute was playing its part in fulfilling President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s matra, “leaving no one and no place behind” through embracing diverse languages and cultures.
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education deputy Minister Raymore Machingura said they were crafting a policy on the teaching of indigenous languages.
Zimbabwe has 16 languages recognised by the Constitution.