Eastern Cape matrics get a chance to write final exams in Xhosa

Eastern Cape learners will have a chance to write exams in Xhosa
Eastern Cape learners will have a chance to write exams in Xhosa
Image: paylessimages / 123RF Stock Photo

Eastern Cape matric pupils will soon be able to write final examination in Xhosa.

This decision was approved by the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) when they met on Thursday last week to discuss a number of topics affecting the basic education sector. The council approved the implementation of the bilingual examination for the national senior certificate, starting in the Eastern Cape.

Minister of basic education Angie Motshekga said, however, all preparatory work would be subjected to the mandatory period of 18 months before the bilingual examination in the Eastern Cape can be effected.

"The province has conducted research and provided evidence that their learners could be struggling with English as a language of teaching and learning, hence the underachievement [in matric exams]. The province proposed an examination in both English and isiXhosa in grade 12," Motshekga said.

She said the CEM supports the proposal because chapter nine of the NDP (National Development Plan) advocates for improving educational, training and innovation. The issue of languages advancement is covered under the sub-heading "Curriculum, incentives, inclusivity and language issues", which recommends that learners' home languages be used as a language of learning and teaching for longer term plans.

"There is a huge body of current research on African languages that confirms that orthographies and the linguistic structures of African languages are unique and different to the English language," she said.

She said the CEM has referred the matter to the heads of education committee to consider the practical implications of implementing what Eastern Cape has started.

"We will take lessons from the Eastern Cape as we continue with implementation in other provinces," Motshekga said.

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