By Desmond Nleya| Villagers in Dombodema, Plumtree are demanding the government to deploy local teachers at their schools, in order improve their children’s pass rates.
The aggrieved parents who convened a meeting at Hikwa (Mnigau) Primary School on Friday said the deployment of Shona speaking teachers to teach ECD was a major cause for the pathetic results as there was a language barrier between the teacher and the learner.
The meeting was attended by village heads, parents and the councillor with a view to petition the government over the poor results.
Speaking to Bulawayo24, the villagers said some children were even refusing to go to school sighting language barrier between the teacher and the pupil.
‘We have decided to take this step to confront the government over this issue because our children are failing to communicate with their teachers. Imagine an ECD learner with no exposure of any language but Kalanga being taught by someone who can’t even understand Kalanga. We need to understand that early child hood learning is the foundation and once pupils miss to grasp at that early stage, then they are automatically off rail forever”, said an angry villager who identified himself as Moyo.
Another villager, Bongani Khuphe said the issue was not politically motivated nor on tribal grounds but was genuinely seeking government intervention so as to improve the school’s pass rates.
“This issue has nothing to do with politics. It is not a tribal issue either. All we want is the best for our children. We are only saying the government should give us teachers who at least understand our local language especially at early learning stage’, he said.
‘Imagine a grade 6 pupil getting an overall mark of 36% and yet becoming number 1. Surely something should be wrong’, said another villager who refused to be named.
” We do have some trained teachers here who are un employed and yet our schools are understaffed with foreign teachers who can’t even converse in our language” said another villager.
Efforts to get a comment from the responsible councillor, Benjamin Nleya were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.
Meanwhile, villagers appreciated the general infrastructure of the school which has a new computer which is yet to function due to lack of teachers.
The computer lab was commissioned by the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Hon Dingimuzi Phuthi last month.