Kabimba says using English is colonial mentality

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) secretary-general Wynter Kabimba says the PF government will overhaul the education system by making local languages more prominent in the curriculum and doing away with the colonial style of education.

Mr Kabimba said the current education system is still steeped in colonialism and Government would put an end to that.
“Our education system has a colonial hang-up…we want to change that,” he said.
Mr Kabimba said this during a meeting with school managers from over 20 government schools in Mazabuka on Saturday.
He said the current education system does not meet the challenges of a third-world country.
“Our education system does not meet the demands of a third-world country. We are producing students who are not relevant to the needs of our country,” Mr Kabimba said.
He wondered why Zambians should insist on using English as the medium of communication when the country is rich with many languages.
“It is the policy of the PF to revive vernacular languages because a language gives us identity,” Mr Kabimba said.
He said the PF wants pupils aged 10 and above to focus on what they are good at, instead of studying subjects which are irrelevant to their skills.
“We need artisans to develop this country. We cannot all be lawyers or doctors. That is why the PF wants to tap into human potential at a young age,” Mr Kabimba said.
Mr Kabimba said there is a deliberate effort by colonial masters to kill native languages.
“A language gives personal and cultural identity. Teachers have a duty to teach children vernacular languages.
“It is the policy of the PF to revive vernacular languages because our languages give us a sense of identity,” Mr Kabimba said.
Mr Kabimba said he is not proud to use English as a medium of communication.
“I use Sala when talking to my children in my house, because English is a foreign language,” Mr Kabimba said.
Mr Kabimba said he is proud that when he started school in Livingstone, he was taught Tonga and later on he learnt Lozi.
“I speak these local languages fluently because I was taught to speak them while I was young,” he said.
Mr Kabimba said he finds it strange that some people even brag that they speak English better than indigenous languages.
Meanwhile, Mr Kabimba says there’s no compromise of discipline in the party.
Mr Kabimba says discipline in PF is paramount because no one is bigger than the party.
Mr Kabimba, who is also Minister of Justice, was speaking on Saturday in Mazabuka during a radio programme called Live Wire on Mazabuka Radio.
And Mr Kabimba says most Zambians are concentrating on discussing individuals at the expense of development.
“Let’s learn to debate Development Issues, not personalities because there are many people who are suffering out there,” Mr Kabimba said.
Some callers wanted to drag Mr Kabimba into discussing the fate of Minister of Foreign Affair Given Lubinda.
“Our primary duty and priority is to tackle the poverty which Zambian people are facing, not to discuss personalities,” Mr Kabimba said.
He urged people to rally behind the PF government so that it can deliver development.
“Support the PF with or without Wynter Kabimba. The PF wants this country to be better and if Zambia does not develop under Michael Sata, we can forget about development,” Mr Kabimba said.


  • comment-avatar
    lingo phiri 5 years

    facebook in bemba, pamenso-ibuku

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    No Name 5 years

    Hon Kabimba forget I will never teach my children those insults you are refering to as a local language and if you can tell me what’s K 100.00 in sala?

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    ENALA NGULUBE 5 years

    Whilst it may sound good an idea, the reality is that Zambia is not like Zimbabwe or Tanzania which have almost one prominent local national language such as Swahili. Zambia is very diverse and it would mean having to learn Tonga, Lozi, Chichewa, Bemba, Luvale plus the many other dialects. Leaving out some languages that may be deemed
    ‘small’ could lead to ethnic conflicts. Hence, there is need to take a more objective and clever approach when dealing with issues of this nature. Let’s also remember that the issue of language development is a matter of personal choice and starts in the family where l think this should start from. The best language for communicating in a global dispensation should be used, period.

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    Oliver 5 years

    I think the criticle issue is that our children who are growing up in urban areas and are taken to school at a very tender age struggle to communicate in our native tongue with our parents when we go up country,that is a fact. however, what i experienced in Tanzania where Swahili is equated to English is something i do not wish to see come to Zambia,its almost impossible to communicate with anyone in the street least learned people……..its too late for Zambia to go in that direction.let our children learn our our local languages but lets live in the century we are in.

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    Mzee hekima 5 years

    Wynter why not start with your Parliament, everything you do there is in English including the hansard. What is Mr Speaker in Sala by the way.

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    James 5 years

    What the governement can do is introduce a compulsory local second language for all pupils. This will require a lot of resources to develop the carriculum and train teachers. It is shallow to suggest that English is a colonial language because almost everyone is learning a kind of international language e.g.the Chinese, Indians etc. How many languages are we going to have in Zambia? Think again.

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    uchizi 5 years


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    Reasonata 5 years

    Ask the tanzanians they tried with Swahili .only to find a mammoth task.Language develops with time and usage.in the world of science we have done nothing as Africans .Having new vernacular words for every scientific word will be impossible.
    Let’s admit our language is only suitable to discuss social issues and sing…LOL

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    I didn’t know that Zambians were this dull. Kabimba didn’t say that all lessons will be taught in vernacular. He said languages have to be reintroduced in schools so that children can learn some their parents languages not where a child does not know even a single zambian language. I don’t see anything wrong with this.

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      Bana Mwana 5 years

      Why is it the government’s responsibility to teach my chldren my language. My parents did a good job. I speak Tonga, Bemba and Senga. So let it be a parental resposibility…

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    Diaspora 5 years

    BA Kabimba! Just bcoz u cant converse on an international level does not mean to blame the language… Let our kids learn that which will make their lives easier wherever they will go. And please, do work on leaving a good legacy for yourself. We know you and your superior lives are just about to expire… No secret and you know it yourselves…esh!

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      Diaspora 5 years

      Not judging but naka picture can tell..loL

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      The Urgly truth 5 years

      Kabimba is right fool.English should be a second language fools.

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    petauke 5 years

    WHAT THE honarable is saying was supposed to be done by UNIP and MMD when they were in power,MMD did not see sense in all these when i was in Cuba i saw a lot of DOCTORS,Nurses and Paramedicals,who are highly trained in there cuban languages from pre-school to University,if you go there you have to learn Cuban for one year and in Russia its one year Russian language and talk about china the same come to Algeria,All those ZAMBIA boys and girls who were given scholarship by ALgerian government last were treated to one year Algerian language,So I feel the Minister is right and should be supported by Every ZAMBIAN,most people educated in Zambia, have let us down because some of them with degrees, masters and PHDs who were in office in the MMD,they misled President DR Rupiya Banda to the extend that he is now manufacturing stories why he lost,I like the PF way of governance bringing issues by Ministers,PF has brought a lot of issues interms of governance in the first few years in office than UNIP AND MMD.

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      In Cuba you study Spanish a language spoken all over Central and South America and Some Carribean islands except for Brazil where they speak Portuguese. There are no dialects that is taught in schools.In Algeria and other North African countries you learn in Arabic which is a kind of Lingua Franca for North Africa and the Middle East. We have been there in all those places. There is a difference between creole or pigin language that unlearned people speak in rural areas of Cuba and other places which are sub standard dialects. Spanish came from Spain; Portuguese came from Portugal. We were in Cuba, Peru,Chile, Colombia and Venezuela. It was all Spanish and never heard a single Native Indian dialect spoken in the Metropolis of those countries. Spanish, Portuguese,German and English are European languages and are of the same root. It is time we craved for development but not trying to figure out a how to make a wheel. We can use the already invented wheel.

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      The Don 5 years


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    The Honorable Kabimba is right to say that English is a colonial language. But I think he is 49 years too late. He should have been there when NR became Republic of Zambia. The only alternative he has now is to call for a meeting of linguists to craft a new language acceptable to all stakeholders. Which will be an exercise in futility. The Bible says that it is not wise to long for the bygones. He should ask KK why he didn’t think about this in 1964. The tribal divisions now in Zambia are more glaring than before. I guess this is ruse on behalf the failed policies.He is trying to distract people’s attention from seeing the failures that he has put in motion.Lastly we ask him “How many countries in the world use English although it is not their native language? Does English impede development?

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      The Don 5 years

      I think you should just SHUT UP!!

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    Wynter, Wynter, Wynter, how many times did i call you? 3 times yet you cannot listen. what has happened in the few weeks you have become min of justice? grown wings? lo, plenty of scissors are out there to chop off overgrowths.

    we simply need english to offset translation and interpretation costs at major fora. what you are implying is that all countries that have adopted english as a mode of universal communication are suffering from colonial effects! hhhhhhhhhhhm ba wynter wesu, tekanyeni. we’ve seen the likes of late tetamashimba speaking many things but all just ebb away and their days are never remembered. so bwana put up good policies and not just pya pya pya pya notumenso mumutwe. bola panshi thats what aba Lamba say mwebo ba mwisho tekeni umupila panshi. leave such to Dr Phiri.

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    How many languages or tribes or dialects do we have in Zambia? Can we compare our size with Nigeria, South Africa? When we were growing up, we used to learn Icibemba in Chingola while at primary school. By the time we finished secondary school, Icibemba was one of the options at secondary school level but tell me how far have we gone? If countries like Japan are trying by all means to introduce English as an Office language what then does Wynter want? Certain terminologies are difficult to replace and constructing a technical language is not only a pipe dream in Zambia, its simply unattainable. 74 local languages need a book each while if English is adopted as it is only one book. What wynter must say is that we do not need English to be a determining factor to obtain a scholl certificate but we should relegate English to TOEFL levels where its used to gauge minimum knowledge needed for universal communication. On that i can support him because there are so many bright brains in sciences who lamentably failed to make it at higher institutions of learning all in the name of having a 6 or 7 grade in English while they have distinctions in other subjects.

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    Innoseabird 5 years

    Englis is the most used language in the world and if he implements those sills ideas, how will we communicate with others from different nations?
    If it is colonial mentality to use english, then why does he wear a suit? Why doesnt he wear traditional attire? Why does he use a phone?

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      Cs 5 years

      Also why does he use english?
      Everything he says is in English.

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    optimist 5 years


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    Kipara Matata 5 years

    He is right. That is why PRC successive governments have spend BILLIONS of USD in importing teachers of English language. By the way, how the laws are going to be applied? Classical example of talking without thinking. Colonial mentality or absolute idiocy?

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    paddy 5 years

    This man is dull. Due to globlization we can’t afford not to use English.
    Besides how can you teach medicine, accounts, engineering or even law? What a stupid plan.
    Asians are doing the same thing but its very expensive coz they need translators and study twice as hard in university to understand English text books.