Compulsory Zulu 'a watershed moment'

2013-05-17 18:03

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Johannesburg - The University of KwaZulu-Natal's decision to make Zulu a compulsory course for all first-year students is a watershed moment in education, the PanSALB said on Friday.

"It offers us an opportunity to reclaim the value of linguistic pluralism in South Africa," the Pan SA Language Board said in a statement.

The UKZN announced on Thursday the new policy would apply to all undergraduates, regardless of their programmes.

The PanSALB said language was critical in influencing education outcomes and determined scholastic and career performance.

"In its [language] absence important skills and knowledge, including numeracy, cannot be transferred.

This in turn impacts on the availability of much-needed skills in South Africa, and thus impacting on unemployment in the long-term."

South Africa had a unique heritage of multi-lingualism, and all speakers of official languages should be granted the same opportunity to use and develop their language.

"We cannot continue to create a situation in which African children are made to leave their African languages at the gates of learning."

"Policies will need to be put in place that will take us beyond UKZN to the foundation phase of our education system to equip pupils at childhood development stage."

Read more on:    ukzn  |  education  |  culture

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