Teaching local languages: A contributory factor to the promotion or demotion of Zambian cultures in selected schools of Kitwe District, Zambia
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The study revisited the post-independence reason for the need to use local languages in schools. One of the prominent reasons cited was a cultural one in that the teaching of local languages would help promote Zambian culture and maintain its heritage. The purpose of the study was to assess the promotion or demotion of culture through the medium of teaching local languages. The objectives of the study were; to assess the extent to which the Zambian culture had been promoted in schools, to explore ways in which the teaching of local languages had enhanced cultural promotion and to identify some of the Zambian cultural aspects that had been included in the school curriculum to help Zambia maintain her cultural heritage. The study was qualitative and the descriptive design was employed. The study targeted a sample of forty-five comprising ten secondary school teachers, ten primary school teachers and ten College of Education lecturers were purposively sampled. Five senior educational specialists, five parents and five traditional activists were equally purposively sampled. Interviews schedules, focus group discussions guides and document analysis were instruments used to collect data. Qualitative data was analysed using the thematic approach and was presented in a descriptive manner. The findings established that culture had been taught as a cross-cutting issue through integration into other subjects and co-curricular activities. The findings further reviewed culture was taught and promoted theoretically, while demoted practically. The analysis of the 2014 syllabi reviewed that out of thirty-four subjects; about eleven of them contained cultural aspects among which local languages contained much of cultural issues hence were a factor for culture promotion, identity and continuity. The study also established that the fast transfer of skills was necessitated by fluent use of a language. This was compelled by language and culture relationship, proving Bruner and Vygotsky language and culture being instrumental in children’s cognitive development. In view of the findings, recommendations were that, there was need for the Ministry of General Education to allocate more time for the practical teaching of culture in various Zambian languages and consider making Cultural Studies a compulsory subject .The Ministry should consider working with cultural experts and traditional activists so as to enable learners get first-hand information or preferably train teachers to teach culture.
University of Zambia
Master of Education in Literacy and Learning
- Education