Teachers reject scrapping of grammar lessons

2011-03-04 12:40

The scrapping of grammar teaching in schools was “problematic” because it would increase illiteracy, particularly among second-language students, the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa) said today.

Naptosa deputy president Basil Manuel said the union had seen a departmental document indicating that the grammar paper for grades 10 to 12 would be “integrated” into the writing and literature component of the syllabus.

Naptosa president Ezrah Ramasehla said that a decision to relegate grammar in this way would neglect two factors.

“Firstly, the literacy... levels of learners in the formal schooling system have been shown (repeatedly) to be particularly poor.

“Secondly, for the majority of learners in South Africa, the language of learning and teaching is English, which in most cases is their second, or even third, language.”

He said that the development of competence in grammar was crucial for education across all other subjects.

Ramasehla said an integrated approach might be successful for pupils studying in their home language, but “there is overwhelming evidence that this is not the case” in South Africa’s public schools.

Manuel said that although the document indicating this decision was marked as the final draft, the status of the document was unclear.

The Basic Education Minister’s spokespreson, Granville Whittle, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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