11 Cape schools to take on Xhosa

Published Nov 14, 2013


Cape Town - Eleven Cape Town schools will include the teaching of Xhosa First Additional language into their Grade 1 curriculum as part of a pilot study next year.

This ahead of the planned introduction of a third, African language to the school curriculum incrementally from 2015 in Grade 1 until 2026.

The Western Cape Education Department had invited schools in urban districts to apply to be part of the study and had asked district directors for their input on which schools should be chosen, said spokesman Paddy Attwell.

He said the department had considered a number of factors when considering which schools should be involved.

“They included proximity, to make it easier for itinerant teachers to visit schools, school performance, their ability to cope with the pilot project, and the composition of the learner population.”

Attwell said five additional teachers would be appointed who would travel between the 11 participating schools.

He said schools would determine how they would accommodate the additional lessons. “Options include extending the school day and adjusting their current timetables. Key subjects must continue to receive the specified teaching times.”

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Wednesday she had released the Incremental Introduction of African Languages in South African Schools draft policy for public comment.

She had also approved the pilot study to test the implementation of African language teaching. “The pilot study will be conducted during the period, January 1 until December 31, 2014, in a minimum of 10 selected schools per province in all nine provinces,” read her notice in the Government Gazette.

A statement released by the Department of Basic Education said the pilot would “inform the feasibility of the extended school day, teacher provisioning models and support, and resources to support teaching and learning”.

The study would focus on:

* Promotion and development of the nine previously marginalised African languages to ensure that non-English and non-Afrikaans home language speakers attending schools where neither English nor Afrikaans is the language of learning and teaching are able to rely on their own language proficiency during their assessments.

* Establishment of additive multilingualism as an approach to language in education in South African schools, with the view to exposing all non-African language speakers to African languages.

The Cape Times reported on details of the draft policy earlier this year, including that school days were set to be lengthened by up to an hour each day. Each day would be between 24 minutes and an hour longer for pupils.

* The deadline for submitting a comment is February 12.

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Cape Times

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