EDITORIAL | Ideally pupils should learn in their home language, but there’s a caveat

The minister’s proposal for schools to incorporate mother-tongue teaching from grade four has merit, but is it achievable?

10 August 2022 - 22:39

Academics have widely welcomed a plan by basic education minister Angie Motshekga to promote all the nine previously marginalised official African languages for learning and teaching beyond grade three. These include isiZulu, isiXhosa, IsiNdebele, isiSwati, Sesotho, Setswana, Sepedi, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Pupils in grade one to three at most schools in SA are taught in their home languages. Motshekga told parliament in June that her department was establishing a task team comprising, among others, the department of higher education as well as sports, arts and culture to look into the issue. She said her department has continuously been conducting research on the impact of learning in one’s home language. According to her, research internationally showed pupils learn best through their home languages...

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