Kiswahili to be of­fered in South African schools

Vuk'uzenzele - - Edguecnaetrioanl - More Mat­shediso

South African schools will be able to choose Kiswahili as an op­tional sec­ond ad­di­tional lan­guage 2020.

This was one of a num­ber of an­nounce­ments re­cently made by Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Angie Mot­shekga.

“We are con­fi­dent that the teach­ing of Kiswahili in our schools will help to pro­mote so­cial co­he­sion with our fel­low Africans,” the min­is­ter said.

Kiswahili is a Bantu lan­guage with sim­i­lar­i­ties to many other African lan­guages. It is the third most spo­ken lan­guage on the con­ti­nent af­ter English and Ara­bic, with more than 100 mil­lion peo­ple speak­ing it.

It is also one of the of­fi­cial lan­guages of the African Union. Min­is­ter Mot­shekga said the lan­guage has the power to bring Africans to­gether.

There are cur­rently 15 non-of­fi­cial lan­guages listed in the Na­tional Cur­ricu­lum State­ment as op­tional sub­jects. Th­ese in­clude French, Ger­man and Man­darin but do not in­clude an African lan­guage.

“We are Con­fi­DEnt tHAt tHE tEACH­InG oF KIswAHIlI In our sCHools wIll HElp to pro­motE so­CIAl Co­HE­sIon wItH our FEl­low


The min­is­ter ex­plained that all but one of the 15 lan­guages orig­i­nate out­side Africa. Ara­bic, spo­ken in North African Ara­bic coun­tries, is the only one with links to the con­ti­nent.

“This con­tin­ues to per­pet­u­ate the colo­nial men­tal­ity and ne­ces­si­tated us to take ac­tion and rec­tify this,” the min­is­ter


An­other de­vel­op­ment an­nounced by the min­is­ter is the fu­ture in­tro­duc­tion of cod­ing as a sub­ject in schools.

Cod­ing is es­sen­tially writ­ten in­struc­tions that a ro­bot or a com­puter pro­gram can read and then ex­e­cute.

Once this is in­tro­duced in schools, learn­ers will be able to de­ter­mine the task they want to com­plete through a ro­bot, de­sign the code to make it hap­pen, and then send it to the ro­bot to view the out­come. Over 787 200 learn­ers are ex­pected to sit for this year’s Na­tional Se­nior Cer­tifi­cate ex­am­i­na­tions from 15 Oc­to­ber and the min­is­ter is op­ti­mistic that the out­comes of the 2018 ex­am­i­na­tions will im­prove.

She said a new sys­tem is be­ing im­ple­ment­ing that will do away with sup­ple­men­tary ex­ams and re­place them with a sec­ond na­tional exam. The new sys­tem will save the de­part­ment money and give pupils more time to pre­pare for ex­ams.

Learn­ers in South African schools will soon be able to con­verse in Kiswahili.

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