Botswana: Democracy, Development, Self-reliance and Unity

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun Nov 19 18:02:56 UTC 2006

17 November, 2006

The Botswana Languages Council has not yet been established because a
national languages policy is such a cross cutting issue, and there have
been on going discussions between the Ministry of Education, the Ministry
of Labour and Home Affairs and the Office of the President, which are yet
to be concluded, says education minister Mr Jacob Nkate. Mr Nkate was
answering a question from the MP for Francistown South, Mr Khumongwana
Maoto, who had asked whether the Botswana Languages Council is in place as
well as how far is it with the Botswana languages policy in accordance
with recommendation 3 of the Revised National Policy on Education.

Mr Nkate said the discussions have undertaken some work to inform the
implementation of this recommendation. For example, a survey of the
languages of Botswana has been carried out, said Mr Nkate. He said the
survey informs them of the number of languages, their population size,
geographical distribution, state of readiness for use in schools, the
existence of an orthography, people who can teach the language and whether
there is literature which can be used to support instruction.

He told Parliament that consultations have also been carried out on the
possible composition of the council and what elements make up a language
policy. Mr Nkate said three weeks ago the assistant minister of education
led a delegation to Namibia, which among other things looked at language
policy development and implication. BOPA


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