By Houda Mzioudet.
Tripoli 26 November 2013:
The Amazigh language, Tamazight, is to be taught as an official subject in schools in Amazigh . . .[restrict]areas as of January 2014, Mustafa Ajala, head of the Minister of Education’s office, has told the Libya Herald.
The minister, he said, had given instructions to commence lessons in the language in the second term of the current school year. Classes will be given to elementary school pupils (1st to 4th grade). It will be taught three times a week in the 4th grade.
“Tamazight will be a basic subject in Amazigh area schools and it will have a space in the school report,” Ajala explained. “On 25 September, the ministry gave instruction to start printing [Tamazight] books ,” he added.
Existing Amazigh teachers are being trained to take classes the language, Ajala disclosed.
Tamazight is already taught in a number of Amazigh-area schools, but on an unofficial basis.
There are no plans as yet for Tamzight-medium schools where all subject are taught in the language.
Its status is currently a source of contention. On Sunday, a majority of Congress members voted to make it an official language, but it failed to make it into law because, as a constitutional change, 121 votes were needed to approve it. Although most Libyans appear unconcerned whether the language is recognised or not, there is a small anti-Amazigh group in Congress determined to see Arabic as Libya’s sole official language. [/restrict]