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Johannesburg - Children are likely to achieve higher levels of literacy when using a home language in schools, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Tuesday.
“Research shows that children are likely to achieve higher levels of literacy when using a home language in school, in our case, African languages like IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, Setswana and others,” she said in a speech prepared for delivery at the 10th international language and development conference in Cape Town.
Developing and speaking the languages of the land and the languages acquired as part of the colonial enterprise would bring to speed the realisation of a united and integrated Africa.
“South Africa's experience will assist the conference to deeply appreciate the importance of language in society and how it is critical to liberating the mind,” said Motshekga.
She said that even beyond apartheid and its discourses of difference, language still affected on relations and opportunities in life.
“This conference is of importance as it gets us thinking and reflecting on an important review of the Millennium Development Goals.”
The conference promised to provide a useful lens through which everyone could interrogate critically the extent to which countries had performed in pursuance of the Millennium Development Goals, she said.
The Millennium Development Goals are set targets to be reached in eight areas, including poverty, unemployment, and education, by 2015.