By Taziz Hasairi.
Tripoli, 26 January 2014:
Tamazight language teaching is set for a boost after . . .[restrict]65 newly-qualified Amazigh teachers completed training in Zuwara last week.
The 30-day course at Zuwara’s Tourism and Hospitality Training College, organised by the Zuwara Amazigh Studies Centre, attracted both male and female teachers aged from 19 to over 60. The oldest, Mohammed Abushawashi, arrived at last Tuesday’s “graduation” ceremony in traditional costume, known in Tamazight as tlabat (Arabic: holi), to the cheers of others attending.
The ceremony was attended by officials from the Ministry of Education and from the Zuwara-based Libyan Cultural Association for the Tamazight Language.
The courses, taught by Moroccan Amazigh teachers recruited by the centre two months ago, were tailored to the academic year, with teachers split into three groups. Those in the first group will teach Grade 1 pupils, those in the second Grade 2 pupils, and those in the third will teach both Grades 3 and 4 as well as older people who want to learn to write and read the language.
Some 70 percent of those on the courses had taught Tamazight in schools last year, although some of the first group, despite being native speakers, had themselves only begun to learn how to read and write it.
“The course was not too difficult”, one of the third level graduates told the Libya Herald, “and the quality of those teaching it was very high”.
This is the first officially-approved Tamazight teacher training course and it follows the announcement two months ago by the Education Ministry that the language would be taught as an official subject in schools in Amazigh areas as of this month. The head of the Minister of Education’s office, Mustafa Ajala, told the Libya Herald at the time that Amazigh teachers would be trained to teach 1st to 4th grade elementary school pupils.
The teaching of Tamazight was banned under the Qaddafi regime. However, since then there has been an explosion of interest in the language and Amazigh culture, with the number of Tamazight teachers growing over the past year as a result of other, locally organized training courses. [/restrict]