Students differ over African languages plan

THE plan by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to have African languages as a prerequisite to graduate at university has received mixed reactions.

Nzimande addressed the issue on Tuesday at the launch of the New Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education. He wants every South African student to at least learn one African language and said he would take it upon himself to make the matter a special ministerial project to ensure that teaching and expansion of African languages was strengthened.

Sowetan spoke to students and they had different opinions.

Talia Solomon, a first-year English student at Wits, said: "It's ridiculous, most don't want to work in South Africa and university students can't be forced."

Gugulethu Mlambo, a first-year education student at the University of Johannesburg, said: "It makes sense, but it takes time to learn a language. People can teach each other different languages but I think it should be implemented."

Maria Saragas, a first-year English student at Wits, said: "It is not necessary, some of us want to go abroad after studying. It's important to learn an African language but it cannot be imposed on us."

Lesley Masibi, an honours chemical engineering student at Wits, said: "Rather target learners in high school so they can have the idea at university. The subjects are costly and students should have a choice."