SA schools don't teach all 11 official languages, but are going to teach Mandarin? Readers respond

13 August 2015 - 12:11
By Times LIVE
Classroom. File photo
Image: SUPPLIED Classroom. File photo

A vast majority of Times Live readers have expressed their discontent on social media at government's ten year plan to roll out Mandarin, which is China's official language in schools around the country as of next year.

The plan was signed off by president Jacob Zuma and will be in effect in SA schools in 2016.

Mandarin has increasingly become a language of communication, particularly in business world wide as China's economy strengthens and its government invests in various developments globally.

However, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) is against this, as are many Times LIVE readers who commented on social media.

Abba Mesgele Selassie questioned why African languages are being sidelined in favour of foreign ones, especially since 20 years post democracy, Afrikaans is a compulsory component of many school curricula.

"The cultural domination of the Afrikaners continues post 1994 South Africa now China is bringing cultural domination in the form of Mandarin to our public schools, this is a shame indeed on all the Africans in government and particularly those in education to allow this state of affairs to continue. To destroy a culture and its people all one need to do is to destroy the language..."

Kobe Candidio was of the opinion that more tax payers money would probably be needed to fund the inclusion of Mandarin.

"Where will the teachers come from and who will pay their salaries?" she asked.

Michael Klerck stated English needed to be a priority as this was the medium of business locally.

"The average rural black student is practically unemployable because the medium of instruction is NOT in English at elementary school level. Until China controls the JSE, it is English they need, not Mandarin. I have seldom agreed with SADTU, but they are right. China has no business in Africa apart from providing capital to assist Africans to develop," he opined.

There were several readers who were in support of Mandarin, with Richard BBKing Harawa commenting that the future generations will need it to compete economically.

"Everyone needs to learn Mandarin even Americans coz the Chinese are getting stronger economically and their population is vast. Swallow yo pride and learn it."

More comments below.

Raukane Isaac Leketi - My fellow South Africans the answer is simple. Our children will learn Mandarin in preparation for the future. When they are ready for HARVESTING, our children will be taken to China where they will work in factories and farms. Zuma has sold off South Africa like his predecessor and he is set for life.

Congress Thilivhali - What is Mandarin? Maybe ANC is funded by the Chinese or the one who signed for the implementation of Mandarin in South African schools is the main beneficiary in this deal.

Patrick Tshishonga - Yes, now i believe that this govt is a joke. What is the importance of teaching a Chinese language in our schools? South Africans must unite against this.

Jillian Ferri - Need to learn English properly first .......... Chinese speak English as well. Don't have money for decent school but are more concerned about Mandarin. If pupils don't finish school with good marks they sure ain't going to be doing business with China ...... or anywhere else for that matter.

Kalliopi Peklivanas - Makes me mad. Teach South African languages properly first. This government is shameful. Selling our country out to the Chinese just to line their own back pockets. China wants our natural resources and does not give back anything of substance to any African country it is exploiting.