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Authorities urged to come up with a solution on the best way ‘to eliminate’ illiterate adults

Authorities urged to come up with a solution on the best way ‘to eliminate’ illiterate adults

The Prime Minister recently (9 June) officiated at an International Symposium on Adult Education which was held at the University of Dar es Salaam.

The event is reported in a front page story appearing in the Custodian of June 9 and titled: “PM: Restart Adult Classes, remove new literacy gaps”. Among other things, the PM directed authorities in respective regions and districts to set aside funds to pay allowances to the teachers who will be volunteering in the programme.

He urged the two relevant ministries: that of Education and that of Local Government, to: “come up with a solution on the best way to eliminate adults who can neither read nor write”. This is more than serious!. You are an adult, you can neither read nor write, you get eliminated. Oh my God. Did the writer mean that?

For, “to eliminate” means (among others), “to murder someone who is considered to be a problem”. No, these old guys do not deserve that kind of a punishment. We believe the writer wanted to see illiteracy, not the adults, eliminated.

The sentence could be re-written to read as follows: “He urged the two relevant ministries: that of Education and that of Local Government to: ‘come up with the best way to eliminate illiteracy among adults’” On page 3 of the same paper is an article titled: “Government sets aside 12.85bn/- to connect power to 49 homes”.

Surely that is extremely expensive, working out at a whopping Tshs 262,244,897 per property! On reading the article’s opening paragraph, however, the truth is revealed: “The government has set aside 12.85bn/- to take electricity to the remaining 49 villages, in Korogwe District, Tanga Region. The title of the news item is therefore misleading. Electricity is not going to 49 homes, but rather to 49 villages. When one turns to page 5 of the same paper one finds a number of news stories, one of which is titled: “Government insists on Compliance ‘to’ health regulations to limit Covid 19 spread”.

“The Government has insisted that the public must observe all health regulations ‘to prevent them’ against the corona virus (Covid 19) in the country”. This attributed to the Director of Preventive Services in the Ministry of Health when he was reacting to the interview on what measures Tanzania has taken in order to ensure the community is ‘prevented’ from a new wave of the pandemic”.

He is quoted as having said further: “Our duty as ‘the’ Ministry is ‘to emphasize’ people to take precautions against the pandemic”. So, do you prevent people against the pandemic, do you emphasize people to take precautions?

Seriously, I think the writer had “protect people from the pandemic” in mind, not “prevent people from (or ‘against’) the pandemic”. And, instead of: “emphasize people to take precautions”, the writer could have thought of saying: “insisting that people take precautions”.

Going back to the title of the news item, we need to point out that you comply ‘with’, not comply ‘to’. Finally the Director is quoted as saying something which he, at least in part, cannot have said: “Fighting the pandemic is a must and not voluntary adding that all health teams were working hard to ensure the whole country is affected by the new wave”.

Where can hope come from, if all health teams are working hard to ensure the whole country is affected? At the risk of being repetitive, the Director could not have said that. An important three-letter word is missing from the sentence: “all health teams were working hard to ensure the whole country is NOT affected by the new wave”.

When we jump to page 7, we find this news item titled: “Mining firm empowers Tanzanian women in extractive industry”, where a woman empowerment influencer is reported to have said: “To sustainably address the challenge of ‘living’ the girl-child behind, it is vital for girls to study hard…….”. It is not “living the girl-child behind”, but rather: “leaving the girl-child behind”.

Have fun!

lusuggakironde@gmail.com

Even with new resolutions, I will not fear

As others start talking in low tones ...

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Author: LUSUGA KIRONDE

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