THE NEED TO ADDRESS THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF MALAWI GOVERNMENT’S POLICY DIRECTIVE OF 1968 ON INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES, REINSTATE THE NAME ChiNYANJA, AND OFFICIALLY RECOGNISE OTHER INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES IN MALAWI AS NATIONAL LANGUAGES.
The Lost History Foundation has written the Minister of Civic Education and National Unity a Petition
The Petition requests the Minister in the spirit of national reconciliation in particular and public sector reforms at large, to take the necessary actions in liaison with other relevant ministries and state agencies, towards repairing the negative impacts of Malawi Government’s policy directive of 1968 on indigenous languages (chiYao, chiLomhwe, chiSena, chiTonga, chiLambya, chiNgonde, chiNgoni etc).
Among others, the Petition makes the following recommendations:
i. Conduct wide consultations with relevant stakeholders around reverting the name of the language from chiChiewa to chiNyanja which is the original name since the language came into existence hundreds of years ago.
ii. Indigenous languages spoken in Malawi should be officially recognised as national languages at par with chiChewa. The indigenous languages should be taught in schools for the pupils/students to select among the subjects to learn at school.
iii. The use of indigenous languages including sign language should be promoted and extended to official domains.
A full Petition can be downloaded from this link