• July 23rd, 2019
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Hiding behind English to disguise real motives

The English language issue currently on the front burner of our national discourse is yet another distraction by haters of our government. Allow me, thus, to make the following observations. First, English is our national language and official medium of instruction but children are instructed in their mother tongue during the lower primary. Second: Learners thus have challenges when a switch takes place to English as a medium of instruction in upper primary. In some areas of our country the Afrikaans is dominant and even some are teaching English in Afrikaans. This is improving but not the ideal yet. Third: English is required at institutions of higher learning and all academic books are in English. If a learner is unable to pass the present rate of 33.3% or the new rate of 40% per subject including English how do we envisage such a learner to perform well at these higher institutions? Fourth: The new curriculum should look and address ways how we can improve English proficiency in our schools - for both teachers and learners. A lot of our secondary school learners are unable to properly read and write English. Thus, their comprehension and retention levels of subjects contents are affected negatively. Fifth: The answer / solution does not lie in remarking or in lowering our standards of passing rates but improving English proficiency of teachers and learners. When some teachers failed English proficiency we blamed the wrong institutions at that time and a noble initiative was called off. Sixth: The aggrieved failed youth politicians are not acting in the national interest when addressing these sort of issues on social media. For them it is abusing such important national issues to discredit our Government of the day. We are not blind; we are not deaf - and fully understand the sources where this misguided criticism arises from this year. This trend, I suspect some sections of our youth will continue with until their new political formations will be defeated in the next gneral and parliamentary elections by the ruling party. We can see people don’t play the ball also with this issue but the able strong-willed Minister of Education is again being targeted. Their criticism is not embraced nationally by the masses because it is a social media issue where it will die its natural death. Seventh: Education has various tools to measure. The 27-year long national rating has been done away with and we want to thank Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa and her capable ministerial team for having introduced subject diagnoses. This enables every school and Education Regional Directorates to directly pinpoint problem subjects and areas. We expect schools to zero in and improve. On that note I want to encourage the minister and staff of the Ministry Education, Arts and Culture, and pray for hard work and again improved results at end of the 2018 academic year. Willem Simon Hanse Mariental
New Era Reporter
2018-01-26 10:13:49 1 years ago

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