South Africa 7.8.2013 05:00 am

New African language policy for schools

FILE PICTURE: 
Minister of Basic Education and ANC Women's League president Angie Motshekga. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

FILE PICTURE: Minister of Basic Education and ANC Women's League president Angie Motshekga. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Schools will be required to include indigenous languages in their curriculums from next year on, Basic Education Angie Motshekga said yesterday.

“Earlier this year, the department received a report on the incremental introduction of African languages in schools,” she said in Pretoria yesterday.

“The report recommended that as from 2014 all public schools should introduce African languages from Grade R to Grade 1,” Motshekga said.

The department earlier this year announced the possibility that schools would include at least one indigenous African language in their curriculum.

This caused some controversy, with critics saying most schools already lacked the resources and teachers to comply with the current curriculum and that acquiring trained personnel to teach the additional languages would be problematic.

However, Motshekga said that the introduction of African languages into schools was expected to go smoothly as most schools had already integrated teaching an African language into their curriculums.

“We will only strengthen the system already in place by providing the necessary support,” she said.

She admitted that it would take a lot of training and resources to implement the teaching of African languages successfully, and that it would take time to be fully implemented.

“At this stage we are only aiming for the piloting of the project in 10 schools per district for the first year.”

Asked who would determine which language was taught in each school, Motshekga said that the dominant African language spoken in the particular region would play a role, but that each school’s governing body would have the final say over which indigenous language would be taught.

She said that Afrikaans also qualified as a local indigenous language and would therefore be included in the process.

 

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