[lg policy] South Africa: Puma challenges Ministry of Education's language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 19 16:28:22 UTC 2011

Puma challenges Ministry of Education's language policy
by Byo24News
2011 January 18 08:26:10 | 183 Views

Patriotic Union of Matabeleland (Puma), has challenged the Ministry of
Education to re-look at its teacher deployment policy to avoid a
situation where teachers who could not speak local languages were
deployed to teach infants in the region.   In an interview on Monday,
the party’s president, Bancinyane Ndiweni, said it was important that
the ministry deployed teachers who could speak Ndebele to primary
schools in Bulawayo and other Matabeleland regions. It is worrying
that 75% of the teachers are not from the region and even colleges in
Bulawayo are flooded with students from other areas.

There is a problem in terms of the recruitment and deployment of
teachers in primary schools in Bulawayo and other Matabeleland
regions. They can’t speak IsiNdebele. During the constitutional reform
exercise a lot of people in Matabeleland were concerned about the
development of local languages, most of which are deemed minority
languages. They called for provisions in the constitution to protect
them, together with their cultures, especially in school and in the

In the early years of independence, Kalanga and Tonga, which are
regarded as minority languages, were taught up to Grade Three.
Education minister David Coltart has repeatedly expressed his
ministry’s commitment to “minority” languages. Ndiweni said Coltart
should walk the talk even in the recruitment of teachers. “Our
children speak Ndebele as the first language and a teacher who
understands and can speak that language will be very helpful in their
development,” Ndiweni said.

Over the years there has been increasing concern at the number of
non-Ndebele speaking teachers in Matabeleland’s primary schools, a
situation activists have said endangered the teaching of the language.

Source: Byo24News


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