Tonga pupils miss out on radio lessons

By Albert Nxumalo

Grade Seven pupils who intend to sit for Tonga language final examinations appear to have been left out of radio lessons that are being rolled out by Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and state broadcaster- Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.

Based on the schedule for week one and two, Ndebele, English and Shona lessons are only catered for.

Tonga language was first examined at Grade 7 level in 2011.

The lessons that will cover ECD, grades 1,2,3 and 7 commenced on June 15 and are between 15 and 30 minutes long.

They are used as a stop gap catch up measure for learners occasioned by closure of schools due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Educational institutions in the country closed prematurely on March 24 due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.

The second term was supposed to run from May 5 to August 6 while the third term was supposed to start from September 8 to December 3.

In an statement accompanying the broadcast timetable, the lessons would be aired on National FM, Power FM, Classic 263, Radio Zimbabwe and Khulumani FM” on various intervals from 9 am to about 3pm.

“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in conjunction with ZBC will be rolling out radio lessons as part of alternative learning platform.

“The first scheduled lessons which are for the Primary School level will be aired from 15 June 2020 to 26 June 2020 as per schedule…” reads the statement in part.

Its added “Parents/guardians are advised to familiarise themselves with the schedule so that they assist their children as much as possible”.

The ministries Chief Director Curriculum Development and Technical Services, a Mr JT Dewah recommended the schedule and Permanent Secretary Tumisang Thabela approved.

Early this month, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema officially launched the programme at the ZBC Montrose Studios in Bulawayo.

Reports had indicated that about 34 radio lessons have been recorded at ZBC Montrose Studios in Nambya, Ndebele, Kalanga, Xhosa, Tonga, Venda, Sesotho as part of the indigenous languages’ radio lessons programme.

In April, the Government resolved that pupils should continue learning and invited teachers to submit prepared recorded audios and video lessons which can be used during the lockdown period.

The notice read: “Ministry of Primary of Secondary Education minister (MoPSE) through Curriculum Development Unit and the Technical Services (CDTS) is looking for teachers with prepared lessons for term two that are or can be recorded as audio and video for broadcasting in all grades for the Competence-based Curriculum Learning Areas to get in touch with the following officers”.

Last week, Cabinet resolved to move re-opening of schools from June 29 to July 28, saying this would allow Treasury time to disburse resources to schools.

However, the moving of schools re-opening dates does not affect the Ordinary and Advanced level June examinations which will be written from June 29 to July 22.

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