All schools to teach at least one indigenous language

2012-12-21 00:00

ALL schools will be obliged to teach their pupils at least one indigenous language spoken in their provinces.

If it all goes according to the ANC’s wishes, compulsory indigenous languages may be implemented in the 2014 curriculum.

The resolution was taken on the last day of the ANC’s national conference yesterday.

“All our schools must include in their curriculum one African and indigenous language,” said Arts and Culture deputy minister Joe Phaahla. “It should depend on the region or the province [a school is in].”

Phaahla added that schools would have to use one of the official indigenous languages in its documents and communication.

Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said the singing of the national anthem by pupils should be encouraged, although no decision was taken that they should do so daily.

This was to promote social cohesion and patriotism.

He said the ANC itself would in future sing the national anthem, and not the old version of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika at the party’s meetings.

It had to be seen to be leading by example.

The ANC conference also adopted the job seekers’ grant, which was a recommendation from the policy conference held in Gallagher Estate in June.

In terms of the new policy, the youth will not get a grant, but will benefit from programmes to enable them to acquire skills.

“Those young people who are looking for jobs should be supported,” Mashatile said.

“We want to address the high levels of unemployment.

“In the next few months we will look at the options.”

The ANC conference has also decided to outlaw customary practices that are discriminatory such as ukuthwala (forced marriages) and ukungena (forcing a widow to marry her deceased husband’s brother).

“They should be made illegal. These are the kinds of customary practices we should outlaw,” Phaahla said.

Other progressive customs should be promoted, he added.

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