We already know ‘kowtow’

2015-09-17 06:00

SO Mandarin is to be incorporated into our government schools’ curriculum as from next year.

We all know one Chinese word already - “kowtow”. It’s what the ANC government does to China - very easy to pronounce, but for this country the meaning is rather ominous.

I’m just an ordinary citizen, not into politics, but it occurs to me to wonder whether Russian will have to be added later? Won’t both of South Africa’s powerful and acquisitive friends have to be treated equally?

And will we have to start learning two kinds of history - one about how successful communism is and the other about its total collapse as a system? Intriguing, but also a bit scary.

But on a more serious note, the World Economic Forum places South Africa at the bottom of a list of 148 countries for the overall quality of its education, particularly maths and science. So should the government not be concentrating on hugely improving the skills of its teachers in essential subjects before embarking on an extremely difficult one like the language of Mandarin.

Juliet Kensington

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