National Assembly: 22 February 2011
We as the IFP have been given to understand that a
draft of the national curriculum and assessment policy for next year
has been tabled. What is of concern is that the draft does not make
provision for eastern languages as part of the curriculum. It was in
2003, when a similar omission was mooted and at that time, I as MEC
of Education KZN was able to persuade the then Minister Kader Asmal
that eastern languages such as Tamil, Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu, Urdu
and Arabic are languages that have been in use for the past hundred and
fifty years and that their continued existence and promotion be
guaranteed. This was acceded to then.
Although not part of the eleven official
languages, they are certainly indigenous languages. Thousands of
learners are studying eastern languages in our schools today and
hundreds of teachers have been trained to teach these languages.
Whilst an argument can be made that statistics may not be all that
accurate, the right of every South African to the protection of
languages is enshrined in our Constitution. We as the IFP trust that
the Honourable Minister of Basic Education will ensure that there is
no termination of eastern languages in our schools now and /or in
In response, the Minister of Basic Education Mrs
Angie Motshekga said that she will investigate the matter and revert
to the IFP as soon as possible.
The IFP awaits her response.
Contact: Mr Narend Singh MP, 083 788 5954.