By Tinaani Nyabereka.
GWERU – The Midlands State University (MSU) is set to offer Sign Language courses to civil servants as a means to help promote the language’s use and accommodating people with disabilities in public spaces.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Midlands State University Language Institute (MSULI) recently Professor Magwa, who is director of the institute, said he was optimistic about the future.
He said he was pleased with their work record which includes effectively coordinating the translation of the national constitution into 15 official languages.
“The language institute is here and is now a reality. We want it to grow to become a centre of excellence in language research and consultancy services in the region. Short courses on offer include teaching of marginalised languages, thesis and dissertation language editing, Braille and transcription services, document proof-reading and editing, research in indigenous languages and culture among other services.
“The institute has already made an impact by successfully coordinating the translation of the National constitution into all our 15 languages including Sign Language. We are the first country to achieve this initiative internationally.
“We have partnered the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, Ministry of Health and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission and have been tasked to offer Sign Language to all nurses, doctors and police officers to improve their areas of operations in delivering services. We are not limited to them only but also extending these courses to everyone who want to undergo the courses on offer,” said Magwa.
MSU Vice Chancellor Professor, Victor Muzvidziwa said the Institute was going to help stir national growth and development agenda in all aspects.
“Language is not an important vehicle only but a crucial cog in realising true national development. So the commissioning of this centre today will drive the national agenda of growth and development.
“The recognition of our national languages should be seen as the core component of establishing a national consensus that will lead to unity, peace and development,” said Muzvidziwa.