Not speaking same language: iLIVE
The language of instruction in schools has recently been a topic of debate.
It is deemed that many pupils find it difficult to perform well due to linguistic limitations.
Kofi K Saah, from the University of Ghana, wrote: "It has often been stated that the language one chooses to speak and one's language proficiency are standards against which one's intelligence, literacy and cultural pride and heritage are measured."
Some people refer to the sustained colonisation of our indigenous languages.
The prospect of successful implementation of mother tongue education has numerous challenges .
I was born in Ga-Modjadji in the Bolobedu district.
I grew up speaking Khelobedu, one of the nine dialects for Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho). Khelobedu is my mother tongue, but it is not an official language.
When I started primary school, I was compelled to learn a standardised language called Sesotho sa Leboa as my "mother tongue", which did not include a single word from my dialect.
To be candid, that was quite an imposition for someone who had already spoken Khelobedu for six years.
I had to study Sesotho sa Leboa until I completed Grade 12. I could not achieve excellent grades, even though Sesotho sa Leboa was reasoned to be my language.
My classmates could not get top accolades either.
If mother tongue education is endorsed, children who grew up speaking different dialects will be disadvantaged.
Our indigenous languages are essential and worthy of being preserved as they form an integral part of our culture, identity and history.
However, due to economic factors, countries on the periphery find themselves having to succumb to using English. Think of how many politicians have sent their children to public schools.
It is a misconception to preserve indigenous languages at the expense of reality. However, to prevent the death of these languages we need to inculcate them in our families.
The media plays an important role in spreading language influences and setting agendas across the globe.
SABC broadcasts soap operas such as The Bold and The Beautiful and Days of Our Lives, which are produced in the US.
You can call it media and cultural imperialism if you like.
We can either deny the pressure that is being exerted on our education system by globalisation, or acknowledge that mother tongue education in a globalising world is a setback for our children.