To help learners who are not being taught in their home language, the Department of Basic Education is considering piloting new language changes in South African schools.

Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, said in a recent parliamentary Q&A that currently pupils are required to answer exam and test questions in the language they are learning in, according to Business Tech. For some, this is not their home language.

“Currently, at the Grade 12 level, the learner is either taught through the medium of English or Afrikaans. Hence, provision is currently made only for learners to respond in English or Afrikaans, in their non-language subjects,” she said.

“However, the department is currently investigating the option of providing candidates with question papers that are presented both in the language of learning and teaching and in the mother tongue of the learner.”

According to Motshekga, this alternative will first be tested on either Grades 10 or 11. Depending on how this test goes, it could be implemented in matric examinations.

The Department of Basic Education has been working with Unicef to compile a multi-language concept paper which encourages the use of home languages at schools. Motshekga also wants to introduce African languages beyond the foundation phase, or grades R – 3.

Thus, broad changes in language of education are planned for South African schools.

Picture: Facebook/ Department of Basic Education

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