Use of local languages improves school performance

FFK 0212017The use of local languages in the first classes of primary education contributes to the improvement of the teaching and learning process, with particular emphasis on the increase of reading and writing percentage indicators. These findings were shared by the Provincial Directorate of Education and Human Development (DPEDH) of Maputo, District Directorate of the Magude, teachers and students of the Mulelemane Primary School in Magude, where the National Language Day ceremonies were held, in Maputo province.

The event, co-organized by the Food For Knowledge - School Feeding Program co-implemented by ADPP and Planet Aid, covers about 80,000 students from 269 schools in the Matutuine, Magude, Moamba and Manhiça districts and by the local education sector with motto "Multilingualism in Education".

The Food For Knowledge project introduced bilingual education in its second phase, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH), National Institute of Education Development (INDE) and the USAID mission in Mozambique, plans to cover a little more than 27,000 students, for that 293 teachers from the first to the third class are being trained in matters related to the improvement of literacy practices and the produce of more than 150,000 complementary learning materials which will be distributed to the beneficiary schools.

Olivia Machel, manager of the Literacy component in the Food For Knowledge project, says - "this new component will help create a strong reading environment and increase levels of learning skills. In addition, in-service teachers will be trained to help improve teaching methods in classrooms. "

"Our languages make a marriage with our culture and this underscores the need and importance of framing them in this teaching process, especially for children who do not speak the official language, in this case, Portuguese," argues Silvestre Dava of District Directorate of Education and Human Development - DPEDH, "the fact that students come to school and find a teacher who speaks their language facilitates their framing and eliminates their fears."

This position is corroborated by José Komate, Director of Education, Youth and Technology of Magude, who assures that the performance of children undergoing bilingual education is better compared to those of other schools whose schools have not yet adopted this type of education. And their active participation in classes, because they perceive the language.

Zuleika Jadá, head of the school, said she is very pleased with the introduction of bilingual education this year and hoped that it would help to reduce the large qualitative deficit in reading and writing. "It is difficult for a child who has never spoken a language, learn to speak and simultaneously read, write and do accounts in that language. Teaching in the mother tongue of children will not only help to bridge the gap between them and teachers, as it will accelerate their learning process" he stressed.

For the implementation of bilingual education, reading and writing facilitators were trained to support the teachers in the schools involved.