African language development slow

2012-11-22 17:37
Blade Nzimande. (Beeld)

Blade Nzimande. (Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The slow development of African languages in higher education institutions is a cause for concern, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Thursday.

"It stands to reason that we cannot effectively preserve and promote the cultures and histories of our people if we do not pay special attention to the development of their languages," he said in Stellenbosch.

"In other words, the best route to preserve peoples' cultures is to start with their languages."

Nzimande said the development of African languages was tied to social justice, which was an indispensable element of nation-building.

Developing languages needed a concerted effort.

Panel set up

Nzimande said while English had developed as an international language, many advanced countries used their own languages as languages of teaching, learning and scholarship.

"The barrier is when languages are not developed as languages of scholarship."

Nzimande had set up a ministerial advisory panel to examine the development of indigenous African languages in higher education.

It would focus on obstacles to installing effective language policies and practices at institutions of higher education and training.

The panel would submit its report in June next year, Nzimande said.

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