A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Zimbabwean Education Amendment Act, 2019


  • Eventhough Ndlovu University of Zimbabwe
  • Makomborero Allen Bowa University of Zimbabwe




right to education, educational linguistic human rights, persons with disabilities, access, success, hegemony


In 2013, Zimbabwe adopted the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act. This Constitution has dedicated Sections 6 and 63 which regulate language use, and in the absence of a written language policy, the two Sections serve as the de facto language policy. The inclusion of the two Sections is a major milestone in the history of language planning, policy, and management in Zimbabwe, especially given that the previous Constitution was completely silent on language issues. In 2019 the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education adopted the Education Amendment Act, 2019 in order to align the Act with the Constitution. Against this background, this article provides a Critical Discourse Analysis of this Act in order to examine the adequacy or lack thereof of its language provisions. The study employed a multi-method approach to data collection in order to ensure triangulation of results. The main source of data was document analysis of the Act and other related policy frameworks to determine the adequacy or lack thereof of its language provisions. This was complemented by semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with purposively sampled key participants in the education sector. Findings of this study show that the Act does not mark a departure from the past trilingual language-ineducation policy. In covert, overt, and subtle ways, the Act reproduces, maintains, perpetuates, entrenches and sustains the hegemony of English, Shona and Ndebele. 


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Author Biographies

Eventhough Ndlovu, University of Zimbabwe

1Ndlovu Eventhough holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics from the University of the Free State, South Africa and a Master of Arts Degree in African Languages and Literature as well as a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Ndebele both from the University of Zimbabwe. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Languages, Literature and Culture at the University of Zimbabwe. He is also a Research Fellow in the Department of African Languages at the University of the Free State, South Africa. His research interests are in Language Planning, Policy and Management, Language Rights, Terminography, Lexicography, Editing, Translation and Interpreting. Email: evennthough@yahoo.co.uk ORCID:

Makomborero Allen Bowa, University of Zimbabwe

Makomborero Allen Bowa is a Zimbabwean academic and analyst. Presently, he is a DPhil candidate in the Department of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at the University of Zimbabwe. His research interrogates the nexus between disability and poverty in contemporary Zimbabwe from a Biblical perspective. As an emerging Biblical scholar, Makomborero is interested in the appropriation of Biblical/Old Testament themes in addressing contemporary issues relating to poverty, social justice, disability, climate change, social death, politics, sustainable development, and human rights particularly in the context of African countries. Email:mbowa@arts.uz.ac.zw ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0616-9996




How to Cite

Ndlovu, E., & Bowa, M. A. (2023). A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Zimbabwean Education Amendment Act, 2019 . Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, 9(1&2), 8–40. https://doi.org/10.32642/jshss.v9i1&2.1920