Tertiary institutions could teach in African languages

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Tue Mar 22 14:06:53 UTC 2005

>>From the Mercury (South Africa)

Tertiary institutions could teach in African languages

By Angela Bolowana

Tertiary institutions could soon be teaching in indigenous languages, if
the Education Department follows a recommendation made in a recent report.
It was compiled by a ministerial committee tasked with producing a
framework report on the development of African languages in higher

Tommy Makhode, a spokes- man for the Minister of Education, said the
recommendation strengthened an intention expressed by the Language Policy
in 2002 to include indigenous languages in higher education. "The report
makes a point that the objective to develop official indigenous languages
as mediums of instruction in higher education requires systemic
undergirding by the entire schooling system, and the enhanced public and
social use of these languages.

"It also recommends that each higher education institution identify an
indigenous African language of choice for initial development as a medium
of instruction," he said. Mpume Mbatha, the head of the isiZulu Dictionary
Unit at the University of Zululand, said it would be a challenge to
implement the recommendation, and that much work would have to go into
translating and making the terms familiar to both teachers and students,
starting from high school level.

Prof Lobby Ramrathan, of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said the policy
would level the playing fields. "It would provide status for indigenous
languages. At the moment, English has hegemony. The problem is, do we have
enough resources to back that?"  he asked.

bolowana at nn.independent.co.za

 Published on the web by Mercury on March 21, 2005.

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list