Teach African languages at schools

We fight against our own indigenous languages. We fight against our culture. We are drifting far away from ourselves, the reader says.
We fight against our own indigenous languages. We fight against our culture. We are drifting far away from ourselves, the reader says.
Image: 123RF/ iqoncept

We have entered into a new school year on our calendar with a lot of scars and bruises on our public education system.

These scars are caused by the lack of discipline, stability and increase of violent activities in public schools.

We are at war with ourselves. We fight against our own indigenous languages. We fight against our culture. We are drifting far away from ourselves.

The Independent Examination Board (IEB) schools are being portrayed as "little educational heavens" for privileged South African children. These schools have a manageable number of learners in classes and rich with resources.

However, these IEB schools mostly deny children of their indigenous languages' rights because they don't offer local African languages as part of their language teaching programmes. If they teach any, it's always isiZulu.

The IEB schools' assimilationist policies rob black children of their languages and culture, while promoting that of the colonialist - English and Afrikaans.

Equal Education, Pan South African Language Board and Human Rights Commission just watch as language rights are being trampled on.

The former model Cs schools also segregate against the minority languages, especially Tshivenda, Xitsonga and other smaller groupings. Irrespective of a high number of learners enrolled in schools such as Midrand primary school - these languages are not taught.

We have to take our children to far away schools, just for them to access our languages.

Parents of these marginalised languages also play a role in depriving their children language rights.

They are the one who keep quiet instead of demanding that their children be taught their indigenous languages.

 

Enock Shishenge

Wena Institute

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