Renowned author Barbra Makhalisa has applauded the keen interest displayed by learners in upholding the isiNdebele language.
Makhalisa was addressing learners, teachers, and various stakeholders at the Ndebele Literature Festival, where she was the guest of honour. The festival is an annual event hosted by Indlu Yokufundela with the motive of promoting language and literature in isiNdebele, and is running under the theme “Breaking barriers in the consumption and distribution of Ndebele Literature.”
It is highlighted by learners visualising poetry and plays of some of the set books they are studying to enhance their appreciation of the subject. The learners, during the course of the festival, had an opportunity to be coached by top teachers and tutors on the best examination approaches for isiNdebele.
Makhalisa said the event promotes the new Competency Based Curriculum, which encourages the development of practical skills and hands-on knowledge as we seek to industrialize the economy in line with the national vision of a middle-income economy by the year 2030.
“The thrust of the new curriculum is to encourage the development of practical skills and hands-on knowledge as we seek to industrialise our economy in line with the national vision of a middle-income economy by the year 2030,” Makhalisa said.
“It is only by breaking barriers and levelling the ground for the distribution and consumption of Ndebele literature that we can prepare our learners to be active players in the local and national cultural and creative economies. Therefore, we need to prepare our learners, and the best way to do so is by breaking barriers and levelling the ground for the distribution and consumption of Ndebele literature.”
She added that the call to move out of the classroom and undertake various tasks and projects does not only instill confidence, but it also draws out talents and skills which are very useful tools in creating a society that does not rely on foreign aid.
“This we can only achieve by embracing the Competency Based Curriculum and aiming for excellence. The creativity displayed in the Arts and culture learning areas and innovation in other learning areas will allow our learners to stand out and perform to the best of their abilities. It is activities such as this festival that complement the quality teaching and learning of language and literature in schools,” she said.
“Literature as a learning area is an important tool for the learning of other areas. The activities of this festival will open a new world of possibilities for many learners who will be inspired to pursue different career pathways within the arts and other related disciplines in the Culture and Creative Industries.”
Makhalisa told the teachers and school authorities that this was an important platform to reflect, refresh, and learn other methodologies that can go a long way in helping to facilitate the learning of Language Arts and Literature when they go back to their schools.
“We should always remember that the true value of what we teach is measured in terms of what remains with learners after they have left our classrooms. Let us all join hands today, each one of us playing their part in shaping the learner and contributing to the growth of local and national economies through the promoting the teaching and learning of indigenous languages in schools.”