Minister launches indigenous science terms glossaries

Source: The Chronicle – Breaking news

Minister launches indigenous science terms glossaries 
Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science, and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira hands over Indigenous Languages Elementary Science Terms Glossaries to Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Owen Ncube at the Midlands State University (MSU)’s National Language Institute yesterday

Patrick Chitumba, patrick.chitumba@chronicle.co.zw

THE Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science, and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira, yesterday launched the Indigenous Languages Elementary Science Terms Glossaries at the Midlands State University (MSU)’s National Language Institute.

Indigenous Languages Elementary Science Terms Glossaries provide a valuable tool for teaching science to indigenous students in their native languages.

The approach is deemed helpful in bridging the gap between traditional knowledge and Western scientific concepts, making science more accessible and culturally relevant.

Addressing academics and guests during the launch, Prof Murwira said the milestone resource aims to simplify scientific terminology for young minds, fostering a deeper understanding and love for science.

“Linguistic development is the strategy to go beyond political sovereignty towards scientific sovereignty, ensuring that no citizen is marginalised on the basis of language because indigenous languages are key enablers for the full participation of all citizens in national development,” he said.

Prof Murwira said the Indigenous Science Terms Glossaries are an output of the National Languages Science Translation Programme in Zimbabwe implemented through the Midlands State University National Language Institute.

“This is a culmination of our Heritage Based Education 5.0 Design. These glossaries are a first step towards the full use of our national languages in the techno-scientific fields,” he said. 

“The second step is the compilation of Indigenous Languages Science Dictionaries, which shall pave the way for the translation of critical teaching and learning resources from primary to tertiary levels of education in Zimbabwe and the Government is fully funding this programme,” said Prof Murwira.

He said the Science Term Creation and Translation Programme is in line with the Second Republic’s Vision 2030 of achieving an empowered and prosperous upper-middle-income society by 2030.

“If scientific knowledge is packaged in our national languages, the creative potential of all Zimbabweans shall be harnessed towards the production of goods and services to realise Vision 2030 leaving no one and no place behind,” said the minister.

Prof Murwira said this was a significant step towards nurturing the next generation of innovators and scientists in the country.

“President Mnangagwa has an eternal vision for this country that hinges on the quest for total independence through science, technology and innovation for the development of this country. 

“This is to be implemented within the context of the Heritage-based Education 5.0 framework,” he said.

Prof Murwira said education is the intermediary between heritage and the fulfilment of human needs, and that by design, it gives the ability to understand the laws of the universe and how they can be used to harness the heritage for purposes of fulfilling human needs.

“Language is a medium of communication and it has made humans survive and prosper for thousands of years. There is no language that cannot be used in communicating the laws of the universe because these laws are written in one language, which is the language of mathematics and science,” said Prof Murwira.

Citing Section 6 of the Constitution, Prof Murwira said the need to promote and advance the use of all the 16 languages including sign language, was critical in creating conditions for successful development.

“Indigenous languages, therefore, must be looked at, not as stumbling blocks, but as potential national resources for enhancing the education and creative potential of the citizens,” he said. 

“They should be developed and used to involve their speakers cognitively in the advancement of the nation as a whole.

“Our efforts as a people are now focused on how our national languages could be used effectively alongside dominant European languages in achieving techno-scientific development.”

Prof Murwira said in instituting the MSU National Language Institute, the Government seeks to achieve techno-scientific development using national languages as languages of instruction in the short, medium and long term depending on the subject matter/discipline.

At the same gathering, Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Owen Ncube, said the launch was in sync with the Second Republic’s transformational policies.

“Our endeavour to attain an upper middle-income society earlier than 2030 as envisioned by President Mnangagwa, is both resource-based and knowledge-driven, making the launch of the Indigenous Languages Elementary Science Terms Glossaries a befitting intervention that complements the New Dispensation’s Education 5.0 policy and development thrust that is inclusive and leaves no one and no place behind,” he said.

“Our rich African philosophy advises us never to trust and rely on someone’s dogs when hunting as eventually the benefits will accrue not to you but to the owner of the dogs. 

“Similarly, the dividend for relying on foreign languages is payable, in our case as Zimbabwe to the Western World and we are left with the liability of inferiority complex in the minds of our communities.”

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