Kamati calls for indigenous languages to be taught in schools

TSUMEB: Hai//om Traditional Authority (HTA)’s vice chairperson, Ndapandula Kamati, has urged the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) to teach children in their indigenous languages.

Kamati said this during the celebration of International Mother Language Day at Tsumeb on Saturday in the Oshikoto Region.

‘We want to be taught in our language and be proud in our language and also on how to do poems, design art in our very own language,’ she said.

Kamati further expressed disappointment at the fact that some languages, such as hers, are not recognised formally in Namibia.

‘It is so unfortunate that our language is not written and we are not even recognised in local schools, which makes it difficult for our learners to go forward with their studies,’ said Kamati.

MoEAC Director for the Oshikoto Region, Aletta Eises, said they have 7 000 Khoisan speaking learners in schools, and only Khoekoegowab is taught in schools with only 100 learners being taught the language from grade 1 to 12.

‘It is high
time we stand up for our languages so we preserve them for our future generation,’ said Eises.

She further urged people to value their languages and stop denouncing them as that is their identity and their pride.

‘If the mother tongues are not investing and speaking their languages in their social setting and meetings, then the language will be extinct.

Deputy Mayor of Tsumeb, Anmire Garises, at the same occasion urged Tsumeb’s Hai//om communities to protect and preserve their culture as well as to recognise its significance in shaping a collective future.

‘Let us celebrate the beauty of our mother tongues and recognise the importance of it in our society,’ said Garises.

She further said that they should wear their traditional attire with pride and speak the language with pride, as well as continue celebrating International Mother Language Day

The theme of the event was to set goals for preserving endangered languages, promoting multilingualism and sustaining linguistic heritage.

Source: The Namibia P
ress Agency