[lg policy] South Africa: LANGUAGE POLICY NOT A LEARNING BARRIER ’
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Thu Apr 12 15:29:36 UTC 2012
LANGUAGE POLICY NOT A LEARNING BARRIER’
Posted on April 10, 2012
DA Western Cape spokesperson for Education of Western Cape Provincial Parliament
The Minister of Education in the Western Cape, Donald Grant, and the
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) are serious about
continuously looking to improve on the current language policy whilst
keeping the focus on what is best for the learners. This follows a
presentation to the Standing Committee on Education in the Western
Cape Provincial Parliament today, 10 April 2012.
As DA Western Cape spokesperson for Education, I welcome the emphasis
which is being placed on the appropriate training for implementation
of the policy.
Deciding on a language policy for a school is a stipulated function of
the School Governing Bodies (SGB’s). Therefore, it is encouraging to
hear that there is training courses available to newly elected SGB’s.
I implore all SGB’s in the province to prioritise training of members,
as facilitated by the WCED, in order to perform their important duties
efficiently and effectively. I also urge SGB’s to adequately
communicate any problems through the appropriate WCED structures for
these to be addressed and resolved.
The WCED has also reconfirmed its commitment to continuous teacher
development and training. This will help address the language
challenge across the curriculum. Teachers, who are knowledgeable in
their subject, should also have the required language skills to convey
the message appropriately. The various reading materials available for
use in the classrooms could also be a start to develop language skills
which match subject knowledge.
I support the promotion of Mother-tongue as the Language of Learning
and Teaching (LOLT) for Grades 1 – 3. Concurrently, I support the
notion of language switching at a young age as a key element to the
success of CAPS as explained by Western Cape Minister Grant.
The use of quality language is important as a foundation for learners
to build on. I applaud the realisation, and the work already done, for
this foundation to extend to the Early Childhood Development (ECD) of
children in the Western Cape through addressing the issue
transversally by the Department of Education and the Department of
Looking forward, I welcome the assistance the technological platform
of e-education/i-education will provide in the future. Until then, I
call on our parents in the Province, to establish a love for reading
as medium to develop language in children. I urge parents to make the
correct decision when it comes to the language preference for their
children. I also challenge parents to become empowered in the use of
quality language to empower their children with the necessary language
skills for the future.
I congratulate the WCED and Minister Grant on the work done thus far.
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