[lg policy] South Africa: Clearer language policy will improve results

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 8 16:56:58 UTC 2011

Clearer language policy will improve results
Fri, 4 Mar, 2011

At least one important factor in the crisis affecting our state Senior
Secondary Schools is being tactfully overlooked. All school pupils
have the right to be instructed in their mother tongue, and the
Education departments have the obligation to facilitate this.

However, that does not mean that every secondary school must be
obliged to provide, in Grahamstown for example, three language streams
for all subjects for the four years – the resources simply do not
exist. Each Senior Secondary School should therefore make clear what
the language(s) of instruction will be in the light of local
demographics, and should be able to test all applicants for places, to
ensure that they have communicative competence in the language(s)
before they are admitted. Not only would such an arrangement be
cost-effective, it would also reduce the failure rate and sense of
despair among pupils whose prior learning experiences make it almost
impossible for them
to cope.

Michael G.Whisson.


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