Lamba Chiefs reject the newly introduced local language policy on the Copperbelt

Sata with Lamba chiefs
Sata with Lamba chiefs

ALL the fifteen (15) Lamba chiefs on the Copperbelt Province have resolved to reject the newly introduced government policy to teach Bemba in Copperbelt rural schools.


ZANIS reports that the Chiefs confirmed this in a statement in Ndola today signed by senior Chief Chiwala who is the chairperson for Copperbelt Royal Council of Chiefs.


Chief Chiwala said traditional leaders in the province have thrown out the idea of having Bemba as a mode of instructions in schools both in rural and urban areas.
“We, the Chiefs of the Copperbelt Province observe that it is a violation of human rights to impose on children the teaching of vernacular language that is not their own,” Chief Chiwala said.


The traditional leader observed that Copperbelt province is the land of inheritance for Lambas and that indigenous Lamba people have occupied the land since time immemorial hence the language they have always spoken and used for writing is Lamba.


He explained that language plays a greater role in the development, promotion and preservation of culture in any given society and that it is injustice to introduce as a compulsory measure a Northern Province language to teach children in Copperbelt rural schools.


The traditional leader on behalf of his colleagues further said that Lambas at their own expense and working in collaboration with the curriculum Development Center in Lusaka have published books to be used in Copperbelt rural schools and that the literacy books are still being worked on.


He said to this end government should partner with the Lambas and avail funds for the publication of books as it has done with other languages.


Chief Chiwala further said that the resolve to reject the policy of having children taught in a foreign language in their own land was reached at after consultative meeting with the Lambas in the province.


“The position the Lambas have taken shall never be compromised and no amount of intimidation shall sway the people of Lamba land from this decision.


Throughout British Colonial and independent Zambia’s history, Lambas have been tolerant and sacrificed enough of their land for the sake of national development, mindful of the fact that Zambia is a unitary state in tribal diversity,” Chief Chiwala said.


Government recently announced new education reforms to teach all subjects in vernacular from grade one (1) to four (4) in all primary schools of Zambia.


Government has selected seven Zambian languages which are also aired on ZNBC to be used for teaching in schools.