Members Statement - Eastern Languages
By Narend Singh


National Assembly: 22 February 2011 

 

Honourable Speaker:

 

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 the future.

 

MINISTERIAL RESPONSE

 

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.