George Mari MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Arts and Culture
THE Democratic Alliance has called on KZN Education MEC, Senzo Mchunu, to make a clear policy statement on Eastern Languages within the province’s schools, as the future of instruction hangs in the balance.
The call was made yesterday during a sitting of the provincial legislature following claims that there are moves by some KZN principals to end Eastern Languages being taught as a result of non- provision in the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement.
The issue of Eastern Language instruction appears to crop up almost every year. In 2010 and in 2011, after the DA expressed concern, the MEC made a commitment that Eastern languages would not be scrapped and denied allegations that the department was behind moves to end tuition. Despite this, there is still no provision made for the teaching of these languages in the Grade 1 to 12 Curriculum. More recently there have been allegations of yet another circular doing the rounds, which states that the services of Eastern Language teachers will no longer be required in 2013.
There are some 70 000 learners studying eastern languages in KwaZulu-Natal, who do not want to see the Indian heritage and culture lost. There are also hundreds of language teachers who stand to lose their jobs if instruction falls away.
Whilst the MEC appears to have taken a supportive stance, it is not enough. The DA expects him to deal with this emotive issue once and for all by making a policy statement on the matter.