Can the school system help promote African languages?
Lin Young via SMS
As an English-speaking South African, I am regretful that African languages were not offered when I went to school. Our children of all colours need to learn at least one of the languages of the indigenous people of our rainbow nation. This is Africa, not England, and no longer a British colony. If I were younger, I would start now. My grandchildren are learning an African language and I am proud of that.
Eric Klaas Western Cape
Let me start by quoting Sol Plaatjie: “Let us manipulate this English language for our own benefit.” Nobody is prevented by anything to use any language at home. Language politics only come into play when it comes to economic opportunities, careers and so on. As a nation in transition, with so much to offer the world, the time will come for us to choose out of 11 one language that will be used to unite us. In so doing, we would not in any way be promoting the English language – if this is a concern. One thing for sure, we cannot use all 11 official languages in dealing with the world around us. I really do not see the problem because we are capable of learning and mastering any human form of communicating. Coming to the education system, it is unfair to put pressure on a system that is already not coping with what it is that it is supposed to be doing. South African languages are recognised in our education system. I do not think it is the duty of the system to protect and promote them. Lastly, languages are like stars. And like stars, they each shine in their own way. That is a reality we all have to cope with. As a nation, we have many things to worry about. Language is just a tool for communication.
Madimetja Kganyago Gauteng
I don’t understand why my fellow Africans are not willing to let their children use and promote our African languages. It doesn’t make sense to regard English as a first language for an African child. Africans, we won’t change from being who we are, let’s be content with ourselves. God didn’t make a mistake in creating us.
Thomas Benjamin via SMS
At present, there are approximately 7 000 languages across the world. By the turn of this century, this will decrease to roughly 300. English is a cannibal language and eats our mother tongues at a rapid rate. In the process we lose our cultural identity, heritage, knowledge and intelligence. Parents are pushing English as a medium at early childhood development (ECD) centres. The staff are incompetent in English. Research across the globe indicates that children who learn in their mother tongue flourish as pupils. The greatest damage is done at ECD and Grade R levels, where children are taught English before their mother tongues. As an African, I strongly support the proposal for a peer review system to be set up. Most of these churches target us black people. I’m praying for the commission and its chairperson.
Edward Small Cape Town
I fully agree with the proposal of a peer group overseeing churches. For a few years I was verbally abused by church leaders.
Banele Western Cape
In Christianity the Bible says everyone who believes in Jesus must preach. This is not negotiable for a bornagain Christian, otherwise you are disobeying God. Regulation will compromise this very fundamental Christian belief. Leaders involved in dodgy activities in churches must be prosecuted through existing laws. Regulation is definitely not an option. There is no need to punish or frustrate the good work God is doing in the lives of many and in our country just because of bad people taking advantage of the Church for furthering their selfish interests.
Sibusiso Mngomezulu Gauteng