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    Monday, 13 May 2019

    Education standards declining?


    Due to our colonial history we in Zimbabwe find ourselves using English as one of our main official languages. This foreign language is taught in our schools as one of the main subjects and actually used to be the MAIN SUBJECT without which you could not proceed with your academic studies. However question marks arise on the way English is currently being taught especially when we see how those who were taught the language are using it. We are seeing university graduates who cannot complete a written English paragraph without making one or more mistakes. The interesting part of it is that someone who long ago did Standard 6 and Junior Certificate or Cambridge O Level can actually write better English than today’s graduate who did A Level and completed a 3 or 4 year Degree, worse still when you are talking of a graduate who did a Degree after the Zimsec O Level. Many university lecturers would bear testimony to the almost torturous assignments written in English that they have to go through on a daily basis.
    When someone makes a mistake speaking or writing English some would say, “Chakauya nengarava”. (It came by ship). Meaning that the English language was brought by colonialists who came by ship from far away, so it is not surprising that one can make mistakes when using it. All the same if we have opted for the English language then we should make sure that we speak and write it properly. To develop we need to communicate properly. If we cannot communicate properly then there will be no meaningful development. As it is our own local languages are being polluted by English words and phrases that we throw in when speaking so much so that most of us can now not speak fluently in our own mother tongues. We therefore urge the government to ensure that English is taught properly in schools so that learners will be proficient when using the language. On the same vein there is also need to make sure that local languages are not just properly learnt but greatly promoted in order for us to maintain our identity and make strides on the road to development.  
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