Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Catholic Diocese of Karonga has called for the abolishment of the use of local languages in classroom environment, saying Malawi schoolchildren should start learning English so early.
Mtumbuka said over the weekend at Chaminade Secondary School where he presided over a farewell ceremony for Form Four students that will leave the institution after their Malawi School Certificate Examinations that began on Monday.
He said children should start learning English from early development of their education, saying the current system is making learners fail to speak or read English.
Malawi’s education policy is that Chichewa should be used in the curriculum for primaries 1 to four.
“Government should know that people in the villages are angry with this system. They also want their children to read or speak English just the same as the children of rich people who go to private schools do. Therefore the system must be changed,” said Mtumbuka.
According to Mtumbuka, speaking or reading in English can help close the gap between the rich and the poor.
Said Mtumbuka: “These top government officials always send their kids to private schools to get better education. They should put good learning environment in public schools for poor Malawians.”
Simply, the younger the learner, the better they are at mimicking new sounds and adopting pronunciation. The brain is open to new sounds and patterns in preadolescence.
The Bishop also asked government to start getting views from people in both rural and urban areas before implementing policies that will affect.