Morris Mtisi Education Correspondent
TEACHERS of Literature in English and Communication Skills from Mutare, Chipinge and Chimanimani districts closed 2018 by attending an extraordinary symposium that was mooted to share knowledge, experience and wisdom into the teaching and learning of the two-in-one discipline of learning.
The main thrust of the symposium was emphasis on stimulating critical thinking amongst learners and the need for aggressive marketing of the learning areas.
Morris Mtisi and Moses Mukoyi facilitated the symposium and graphically illustrated how to keep learners thinking and fascinated by the joy of intellectual pleasure.
It was a momentous symposium.
Characterised by open mindedness and sharing of experience, knowledge and wisdom, the one-day symposium clearly regenerated and rejuvenated the spirit and determination to make Literature and the Languages the axis of critical thinking that the two learning areas are in education.
If any teacher doubted the meaning of the old adage ‘‘Experience is the best teacher,’’ he or she must have seen what the combination of two veterans of English Language and Literature in English exhibited at the symposium.
Mtisi and Mukoyi teaching backgrounds and experiences date back to the early 90’s when they met for the first time at St Augustine’s High School during the hey days of this great school under the headship of Father Kebble Prosser. The symposium gave the two a stage to cherish Literature and the Languages beyond reasonable doubt. They had all the V11s to prove beyond reasonable doubt to the teachers present that there is all we need in teaching and learning in the heads, abilities and knowledge(s) of experienced classroom practitioners.
The symposium built a new spirit of ‘‘better together than alone’’ though many so-called big schools were conspicuously absent: Mutambara, Biriiri Lydia Chimonyo, Mutare Boys and Girls High schools, Chibuwe, Gideon and Chikore high schools in Chipinge . . . even Marange High whose headmaster painstakingly helped so much in the organisation of the symposium and promised to sponsor all its relevant teachers to attend.
The symposium was hosted by Mutare district.
Special thanks go to Mrs Matende — languages inspector and Mr Choofamba, the District Schools Inspector.
The symposium recommended the following resolutions at the end of the day:
The establishment of a Manicaland Open Literature and Languages Forum (MOLLF) to be legally constituted and registered.
That such symposia be a periodical event as a one-off occasion, indeed like this one, hardly exhausts all critical issues with sufficient depth and attention.
That MOLLF, once duly constituted and registered, partnered with NASH to run an English Language and Literature magazine to start off as a provincial publication before it becomes a national magazine.
That a symposium such as the one just ended, in the same way be taken to other districts, namely Makoni, Nyanga, Mutasa and Buhera.
That the major facilitators of these symposia organise a ‘‘summit’’ meeting with relevant school heads to advocate the supremacy of English Literature and the Languages in schools and to appeal for support at school level.
That all teachers who attended the symposium form a MOLLF chat group to chat on issues of common interest and importance in teaching and learning.
That the 30 attendants of the 30th of November 2018 all be club members of the Radio Teacher programme hosted by one of the key facilitators on Diamond FM radio every Thursday night between 8 and 9 o’clock and between 9:30 and 10pm.
Club members will interact on radio for the benefit of all teachers and learners who can access Diamond FM radio on channel 103.8, via internet on www.diamondfm.co.zw or downloading the Diamond FM Application on Google PlayStore or iStore and use earphones to listen on their cell phones.