Mbembesi Villagers Resist Non-Ndebele Teachers

Parents of pupils at Mbembesi Primary School in Insiza, Matabeleland South province, on Saturday demonstrated against the deployment of teachers who are non-conversant with local languages, particularly Ndebele, NewsDay has revealed.

The area is dominated by Ndebele, Xhosa, Kalanga, Tonga and Venda speakers.

Villagers who spoke to NewsDay yesterday said: “Our kids complain that they do not understand anything that is being taught as language has become a barrier.”

Some students do not understand Ndebele or English because they speak languages such as Xhosa, Kalanga, Tonga and Venda.

Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said his ministry was yet to receive a report on the demonstrations.

“We only make sure that students from Early Childhood Development up to Grade 3 are the ones who should have a teacher who is from the local area and is able to speak their language. Any student from Grade 3 up to secondary level has to adjust to the situation,” Ndoro said.

In 2020, Matabeleland pressure groups complained that the region continued to experience 0% pass rates at schools, and called for government intervention to ensure that all schools across the country’s 10 provinces are equally and adequately resourced.