By sylviahammond, 23 February, 2016

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Basic Education will identify learning material and textbooks that will be translated into isiZulu.

 This emerged on Monday (22 February 2016) during an event to commemorate International Mother Tongue Day in Greytown outside Pietermaritzburg.

 Speaking at the event, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha, said the progamme will go a long way towards improving the poor examination results in a number of schools in the province.

 “Language plays a critical role in ensuring quality education for our children. However, in view of the fact that our learners are taught in English at school, which is not their mother tongue, they struggle to grasp what they are being taught.

 “It is precisely for this reason that we are going to work together with the Department of Education in the next financial year to identify learning material and textbooks that will be translated into isiZulu,” said MEC Sibhidla-Saphetha.

 The MEC said the two departments are in a process of identify schools in the province where the programme will be piloted.

 “There is a saying that no country can be developed on the basis of a borrowed language. Therefore, we view this programme as a significant step of transforming the socio-economic conditions of our people,” she said.

 She also urged all education and language experts to support the initiative, particularly institutions of higher learning such as the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which has already done a lot of work on the scientification of isiZulu.

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