Monday, April 11, 2011

Students Voice Opinions on Minister's Indigenous Language Idea

Sthembiso Sithole
Higher Education Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, still needs
to listen to other opinions before announcing a final
decision on indigenouts languages.
The debate on whether students should learn indigenous African languages as proposed by Higher Education Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, is intensifying in South Africa. Last week at the launch of the New Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education in Pretoria Nzimande said he would take it upon himself to make the matter a special ministerial project to ensure that teaching and expansion of Africa languages was strengthened. He announced that he feels it’s important for all students to learn an African language in order to get a university qualification.

The Sowetan has reported that Freedom Front Plus General Secretary Piet Uys says he is concerned about the loss of certain languages. “Our issue with the whole (language) situation since 1993 is that we are going to lose Afrikaans universities.”

Students from various South African universities have differing opinions on the minister’s proposal.

Njabulo Madladla, a third year advertisement student at UNISA, says the idea is a good one. “I think

it’s a good idea, because we say we are in a democracy, as Africans it will help us not (to) struggle. This languages are used at home. Some people come from rural areas speaking their languages. Imagine how easy it would be if they come to enroll and continue using their languages.”

UNISA student, Thato Mohlomi, agrees with the
minister's plan.

Another UNISA student, Thato Mohlomi, says he believes if executed well then the idea will help out many who want to learn new languages.

“It is right because I saw in newspapers, most whites want to learn ourlanguages, they want to explore,” says Mohlomi.

The topic has been discussed on social sites as well with TUT student Zanele Ngwenyama saying on facebook the money used to start the project can be better used elsewhere. “Why not take that money and build schools and hospital once?”

Also commenting on facebook another TUT student, Siyabonga Nxumalo, says it’s important for South African to learn languages of communities they are working in as that would assist them improve their communication with those they serve.

The minister says the idea will still be researched and reviewed before it becomes policy.

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