The introduction of local languages in the curriculum in the country will enrich democracy, social cohesion, human rights, and patriotism, says Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Professor Oathokwa Nkomazana.
Speaking at seminar on the introduction of local languages in the school curriculum held at UB Library Auditorium on March,12 2020, Professor Nkomazana also acknowledged that such a move would not only bring about democracy, equality and inclusivity in the country but would further allow leaners to develop effective cognitive and conceptual qualities.
Furthermore, Professor Nkomazana said introduction of local languages in the education system would enhance the mental development of a child as well as quick grasping of new concepts.
She also added that the decision to introduce local languages in early basic education would also give pride, self-esteem and sense of belonging to all Batswana. “It would it turn enhance participation of all Batswana in nation building, fostering unity and cohesion and enhancing sustainable development,” said Professor Nkomazana.
The seminar was conducted in order to appreciate and learn from existing extensive research studies and remarkable efforts and milestones the University of Botswana had undertaken in the development of other local languages such as Sekalaka, Sesubiya and Seyei.
Ministry of Basic Education Permanent Secretary, Ms Bridget John, said Botswana like other developing countries has had its fair share of education reforms at different times to serve different national priorities.
“We had the Education for Kagisano of 1977 which aimed at making education available to a much wider section of the population. It was also aimed at breaking away from the pre-independence education system that was a legacy of Botswana’s colonial history that restricted access to education to the privileged few,” said Ms John.
Ms John also said currently the Ministry of Basic Education was engaging Teacher Aides at pre-primary school level in communities where Setswana was not the first language as an attempt to remove barriers to learning. She said teacher aides use mother tongue for learners to understand what they were being taught.