Mul­ti­cul­tural ed­u­ca­tion has failed due to many pit­falls

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS -

THE SEC­OND last para­graph in an editorial ti­tled (“Ugly truth in ad­vert”, The Star, Oc­to­ber 10) caught my at­ten­tion.

The writer stated that “Black South Africans have big­ger chal­lenges. Their chil­dren re­ceive in­fe­rior ed­u­ca­tion and aren’t taught in their mother tongue”. I beg to dif­fer on the gen­er­al­i­sa­tion of “in­fe­rior ed­u­ca­tion”. Thou­sands of black chil­dren now at­tend for­mer Model C schools, as well as pri­vate in­sti­tu­tions, where, in most cases, they re­ceive an ex­cel­lent ed­u­ca­tion for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons – good teach­ers, good fa­cil­i­ties, good ad­min­is­tra­tion etc.

Un­for­tu­nately, in a num­ber of pub­lic schools, good ed­u­ca­tion is be­ing eroded. The ru­ral schools are the ones where “in­fe­rior ed­u­ca­tion” is preva­lent. It has noth­ing to do with “white­ness” or apartheid.

The sec­ond com­ment is more se­ri­ous where the writer states “… and aren’t taught in their mother tongues”. There should be spe­cific schools cater­ing for spe­cific lan­guage groups where pupils are not only ed­u­cated in their mother tongue, but where their spe­cific cul­tures, ide­olo­gies, his­tory can be taught, so as to main­tain their spe­cific iden­tity and eth­nic­ity. Mul­ti­cul­tural ed­u­ca­tion is not work­ing as there are too many pit­falls and cul­tural dif­fer­ences.

I strongly sup­port The Star in fight­ing for mother tongue in­struc­tion. John Whit­lock Ger­mis­ton

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