Chanco students petition Minister over use of English in Standard one

Chancellor College Education students Thursday marched to the office of the District Commissioner, where they handed in a petition expressing their discontent over the use of English language as a medium of instruction from standard one.

According to the students, they said they were not happy with what has been reported in the media that the ministry of education is planning to implement a policy whereby pupils will be taught in English right from Standard one.

“We, education students at Chancellor college of the University of Malawi, would like to express our discontent over the ministry of education’s plan to implement a policy that aims at introducing English, obviously a foreign language, as the language of instruction right from standard one in the country’s primary education,” reads part of the petition.

Kanyumba meeting teachers
Kanyumba meeting teachers

The letter signed dated 13th March, 2014 double-signed by Matthias Kafere Steering Committee Chairperson and Beaton Galafa, Publicity Secretary on behalf of the education students argued there has been support for mother tongue instruction for the young learners from linguists.

The students also argued in the communiqué mother language supports local culture and parental involvement adding experience have shown that no country has developed while using a foreign language as a main means of classroom instruction.

“If one looks at the global chart of countries that have seen all sorts of development come their way, it becomes clear that it is only those that have been using local languages that are progressing.

“For example, all the developed nations of Europe, America and Asia use their own languages as tools of learning in schools and children,” the students claims.

The education students have therefore, asked the ministry of education not to implement its proposed policy but rather continue with the current policy which allows the pupils from one standard one to four to learn in mother Chichewa language and use English as mode of learning from standard five.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is yet to respond to the queries made in the petition and the proposed new policy on the use of English as medium of instruction from standard one in the primary education in the country.

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