Push for 50% of schools to offer African languages

11963395383_af74e93afe_zEducation Minister Angie Motshekga says the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) wants half of all schools to offer African languages to learners.

Minister Motshekga said this when she briefed the media ahead of the department’s Budget Vote debate in Parliament on Wednesday.

She said the Incremental Introduction of African Languages is the department’s priority programme, as it is aimed at promoting some aspects of social cohesion in society.

The Incremental Introduction of African Languages was piloted in Grade 1 and 2 in 264 schools in 2014 and across all provinces in 2015, where it was implemented in 842 schools.

“Some provinces have already made impressive progress in this regard and will share their experiences with provinces which are struggling with the rollout of this project.

“The 2017 Incremental Introduction of African Languages [is targeted at]… 1 779 schools,” she said.

Giving a provincial breakdown, the Minister said 978 schools were currently implementing the programme.

The Northern Cape and the Free State are currently implementing the programme at 90% and 89%, respectively.

Limpopo reported that there are only five schools left to reach 100%, while Gauteng (36%) and KwaZulu-Natal (46%) are striving to reach their 2017 target of 50%.

“The Western Cape and Mpumalanga are of great concern… with only 1.2% and 2.2%, respectfully.

“However, the Council of Education Ministers has endeavoured to meet the 50% target,” she said.

Approximately 920 schools built through the ASIDI programme

Minister Motshekga said since 2009, government has built 920 schools through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) and various provincial infrastructure projects.

The biggest beneficiary of these new schools has been the Eastern Cape, with a total of 334 schools delivered.

The Minister said the department is aware of the areas that need improvement such as better contract management, clustering of projects, as well as improved efficiency of processes and fast-tracking of approval processes in order to deliver better services to schools.

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