Bishop Mtumbuka for English learning in Malawi primary schools

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.

Bishop Mtumbuka: Schoolchildren should learn Eglish 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.

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sir
Guest

if one does not understand english well,then how can he/she comprehend issues ,ideas/information written in english? nde pagona nkhani pamenepo. Mabuku a zonse,ali muchizungu ndiye munthu mukuti achite master chichewa adzimvensa bwanji zinthu nanga? Ma germans,french,taliana ,machaina etc ,anthu awa kwawo sukulu ili nchilankhulo cha kwao musaiwale!!!!!!!!! Unless tisinthe mabukhu ngati baibulo onse akhale mu vernaculartu basi asaah bishop is right!

Mindset
Guest
Think twice Mr Mtumbuka English is just like any other languages in the world it doesn’t contribute to any development. I will give you an example of Chinese, Dutch, russians etc people they can travel and do business any where hence they don’t know English. These people learn the English language after finishing school nthawi zina timalephera kumvetsesa zinthu mkalasi kamba komphunzilira mchizungu chifukwa amphunzitsi athuso samathatso bwinobwino chizunguchi. I will agree with you if you can put it this way: we should start teaching our kids at early stage about the danger of corruption to our nation. Focus on… Read more »
LG
Guest

Mindset/Mondset,

The example you have given of the Chinese does not hold water. The Chinese and people of other developed countries who do not use English have all their systems in their languages. This means that they understand the world in general though they fail to speak English. The problem in Malawi is that all our systems are in English. This is the reason we should all know English! Our Chichewa does not “smell ” anything anywhere in the world.

LG

Mondset
Guest
Think twice Mr Mtumbuka English is just like any other languages in the world it doesn’t cotribute to any development. I will give you an example of Chinese, Dutch, russians etc people they can travel and do business any where hence they don’t know English. These people learn the English language after finishing school nthawi zina timalephera kumvetsesa zinthu mkalasi kamba komphunzilira mchizungu chifukwa amphunzitsi athuso samathatso bwinobwino chizunguchi. I will agree with you if you can put it this way: we should start teaching our kids at early stage about the danger of corruption to our nation. Focus on… Read more »
Dengu
Guest

Here we go again! There is no evidence that teaching in an unknown language leads to better education. On the contrary, all evidence shows that using the native language is more successful. People, bishops included, are free to express opinions but they are not necessarily based on worldwide evidence.

Masina
Guest
The problem is that, we malawians just as african countries & many other countries arround the globe , have been mentally colonised from wayback….to the extent that we can’t figure it out to live as a country without english. Infact one is considered special only when he/ she speak or act in english. It is a long time problem….even the whole system of our government is english….& yet we choose to call ourselves in-dependent yet even the dressing code in our own parliament is white man’s. Some mps even fail to contribute effectively on issues of national importance just because… Read more »
Zoona
Guest

My Lord, English is just a language and not a measure of intelligence, wisdom and Umunthu. We need more than English language taught from early childhood..and as an educationist and religious man you know this. The people of Tanzania are more united not because of English, but because of the patriotism of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere who saw in Swahili a unification factor and even today the Swahili is on BBC…I remain you staunch follower.

Keen Observer
Guest

Bravo Bishop Mtumbuka. That’s very true & introduce debate, drama & quiz in English in early stages of learning. It’s the only language that can make you free when you travel across the globe. Chichewa chantchito chani? Chingathandize chani?

Harawara
Guest
All this is meant to kill Chichewa – cultural war on Chewa pipo and culture. Speaking english does not make one wiser. You might have noted that Europeans are pride of their respective languages. Angel Merkel does not speak English, Emmanuel Macron doesnt speak english and so do Putin and Hu Ji Tao. They all know english but they choose to speak their own languages even to english people. We were laughed at in Holland when a prominent dutchman found me and my Malawian friend speaking English. He asked us to be proud of our culture and languages. The Bishop… Read more »
Blyth
Guest

Mr. Harawa – I hope you can appreciate the irony of extolling the virtues of pride in our culture and language –

Commenting in English!

Or official language is still English – in the National Parliament of Malawi!!

We insult the colonialists – sadly we fail to escape their centuries of dominance.

Anyway – the issue of languages is a distraction;

We don’t have textbooks and teachers in schools!!!

AMOS
Guest

TRUE BISHOP

Justice Muonekera
Guest

I think the Bishop is mistaken. Actually, he does not

Justice Muonekera
Guest

He does not know what he is talking about; speaking, writing and reading in English do not help any country to develop. The move by the government to use the local language as a language of instructions in schools was a right policy. What is now required is to introduce the same policy in secondary schools and up to university and make it the official language, English as a second language. There is no country in the world which is developed due to the use of the foreign language as a language of instructions in schools, not one.

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