[lg policy] South Africa: Sesotho Academy needs language policy to be implemented in Lesotho

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 2 15:30:28 UTC 2013

Sesotho Academy needs language policy to be implemented in Lesotho  [image:
  Monday, 29 April 2013 16:03

Maseru- The Sesotho Academy held a press conference on Thursday last week
at the State Library, to discuss the implementation of the language policy
that Lesotho does not have and giving a reward to a student who made good
poetry last year.  According to Malisema Makoa, Teboho Lefosa from Sebapala
High School was the winner in last year’s poetry competition for a good
Sesotho poem. On behalf of Lefosa, a teacher from Sebapala High School has
received a medal and a floating trophy for the school.

Makoa said that every year they host Sesotho poetry, where all schools are
invited and their focus is on high school level but as time goes they will
include primary and secondary levels.Professor Francina Moloi said that a
language policy is designed to favour or discourage the use of a particular
language or set of languages. She said that Lesotho uses two languages to
communicate and for educational purposes, which are Sesotho and English.

She indicates that here in Lesotho, there are some languages that people
speak and are their mother tongue or first languages, but are not
officially recognized to be used when communication and in educational
purposes.She further said if such people sent their children to school,
they are forced to speak Sesotho, whereas they do not know Sesotho, and
that made children drop out of school before they complete their studies.

Furthermore, she mentioned that Lesotho depends on foreign languages to
communicate. In addition, professor Moloi said South Africa has eleven
different languages that are officially used for communication and in
educational purposes. She said that a mother tongue makes a better
foundation especially in education.She said that they heard one of the
local Radio stations which reads news in Xhosa at 17:30 and another one
that have a herbal advert which uses Xhosa also.

She noted that the government should have a plan for implementing the
language policy, saying that Lesotho had a language policy during
independence but a written document is not available. In 1970 the language
policy began to shake, and now English is a powerful language in
Lesotho.Professor Moloi said they will never keep quiet to let Sesotho die
a natural death, but they will fight for that until Sesotho can be
recognized, and the Sesotho Academy wants to have a ministry which will
make sure that Sesotho, English, Xhosa and others are used correctly.

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