Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka says the new English-Ciyawo dictionary will enhance understanding of the English language among students whose first language is Ciyawo.
The dictionary, developed by an Australian missionary Ian Dicks, who has lived at Namwera in Mangochi for close to 23 years, was launched on Thursday in Mangochi.
Speaking during the launch, Msaka said the launch of the dictionary is a milestone for education among the Yao and for education in Malawi in general.
He remarked: “English is a core subject for other subjects in primary and secondary schools. It is also the official language of communication in Malawi. Therefore, I would like to applaud the initiative taken by the missionary through Global Interaction for coming up with this English-Ciyawo dictionary because it will help improve performance of Yao learners in schools and also engage them with people throughout the world in significant ways.”
To this effect, the minister encouraged parents and guardians in the Yao communities to buy the dictionary to help their wards understand the most important and frequently used words in the English language.
In his remarks, Dicks, who, together with his team worked on producing the dictionary for 10 years, said he was happy to have finished the $250 000 (about K184 million) project.
He said: “I am happy that I have finished this work which will benefit over 1.7 million people who speak Ciyawo as their first language,” he said.
During the launch, Dicks donated 350 dictionaries to the ministry and districts with Yao speakers. n