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25 February 2018

Release: Immediate

The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape is pleased that Mother-tongue languages are now set to be rolled-out to more than 250 schools across the Western Cape.

If and when offered, I urge all learners and parents to tap into the opportunity for learners to be taught in their home language. In addition to this, I’d like to commend Minister Debbie Schafer and the Western Cape Educational Department (WCED) for making the decision to implement isiXhosa to an additional 254 schools (725 Grade 1 classes), reaching just over 26 000 learners across our Province at the start of the second term this year.

Various experts have suggested that learners entering school are able to learn best through their mother tongue. The experience for both learner and teacher is also more natural and far less stressful, which in turn leans itself to improved learning outcomes.

The South African Constitution (Act No.108 of 1996), the SA Schools Act (Act 84 of 1996) and the Western Cape School Education Act (Act 12 of 1997), provides for mother-tongue instruction, and therefore guarantees learners the right to receive an education in the language of their choice. However, although current legislation recognises the learner’s rights to mother-tongue instruction, these rights are dependent on a number of factors such as practicality and budgetary constraints.

The DA in the Western Cape remains committed to ensuring that each and every learner in our province is given a fair opportunity to be educated in their language of choice, so that the best educational outcomes are achieved.

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