Department of basic eduction plans to introduce Nama language at schools

Department of basic eduction plans to introduce Nama language at schools.
Department of basic eduction plans to introduce Nama language at schools.
Image: 123RF/ iqoncept

The department of basic education plans to include Nama (Khoekhoe) language as one of the incremental introduction of African languages (IIAL) strategy between 2020 and 2024.

Speaking on the second day of the hearings by CRL Rights Commission in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, deputy director general: Curriculum, policy, support and monitoring Dr Mamiki Maboya said the department’s plan between 2020 and 2024 was to conduct an audit of the number and location of learners who are Khoisan home language speakers.

“The department’s plan is to strengthen partnerships with HEIs on research regarding indigenous knowledge systems. We also want to prioritise Nama languages as we have discovered that there are schools where we can begin to offer this African indigenous language,” Maboya said. 

Maboya said the aim of IIAL strategy is to promote and strengthen the use of African languages by all learners in the school system by introducing learners incrementally to learning a previously marginalised African language from grade 1 to 12 to ensure all non-African home language speakers speak an African language.

“We want to improve proficiency in and utility of the previously marginalised African languages and raise the confidence of parents to choose their own languages. We want to redress the past linguistic imbalances ensuring parity of esteem amongst all eleven official South African languages and promote social cohesion by expanding opportunities for the development of African languages as a significant way of preserving heritage and cultures,” Maboya said.

She said the first phase of IIAL targets all of 2,584 schools that are currently not offering a previously marginalised official African language.

“There are currently 2,144 schools that are implementing with a short fall 440 to reach the target of 2,584 and all provinces have committed to reach their target in 2020,”  Maboya said.

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