Schools must offer African language from Grade 1

Pretoria - From next year schools will offer an African language from Grade 1, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Friday.

"This means that schools that previously offered English and Afrikaans will now be mandated to offer African languages from Grade 1 and continue incrementally year-on-year," she told reporters in Pretoria.

Motshekga said this was an exciting and important development.

The minister also took the opportunity to clear up what she called misconceptions about the addition of Mandarin in schools.

She said Mandarin was on a list of 15 other languages, such as French, German and Italian, which was being offered at schools.

The languages mostly offered in South African schools was German, followed by French, Portuguese, Urdu, Tamil and Arabic.

"Mandarin is now available to schools that wish to offer it at an optional third language level," Motshekga said.

"It will have no impact on our current compulsory curriculum in which it is mandatory to take two South African languages."

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