• Home
  • EDUCATION
  • We can’t force schools to teach indigenous languages - Steenkamp

We can’t force schools to teach indigenous languages - Steenkamp

Mariud Ngula
Education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp has shot down Professor Job Amupanda’s claims that private schools are neglecting teaching indigenous languages to opt for Afrikaans and foreign languages.

In a recent letter to President Nangolo Mbumba, Amupanda proposed the implementation of a policy requiring all private schools to teach indigenous languages. Additionally, he suggested that the education ministry develop and adopt - within two years - a multilingual approach to language teaching that recognises and values indigenous languages.

“Many Namibian parents choose to send their children to private schools, which often do not teach indigenous languages. This perpetuates the colonial legacy and disconnects Namibians from their languages and cultures. It leads to a desire to emulate the colonisers - a disconnect detrimental to achieving true postcolonial objectives,” Amupanda wrote.

No exclusion

In response, Steenkamp said Amupanda ought to do research, as the constitution does not allow for discrimination when it comes to which languages schools should implement. She said all curricula are approved by the examination and assessment boards, adding that the ministry strictly adheres to the constitution and Basic Education Act.

While she acknowledged that no school should be exclusionary in its approach to language teaching, the ministry cannot make schools cater exclusively to a certain group of learners. “We can’t force schools to teach indigenous languages. We live in a multilingual world and languages like Portuguese and French have been very successful in our country,” she said.

She added that private schools present different curricula to the ministry and it approves them, as the constitution stipulates that every learner has the right to be taught in their respective language.

“The developed curriculum already allows for the use of all 12 indigenous languages until grade 12 on the Advanced Subsidiary [AS] level and he [Amupanda] knows that. The only language that has not been developed beyond grade four is Ju|’hoansi. The languages we have in our country, which we cannot even find teachers for, are Afrikaans, Setswana and sometimes Otjiherero,” Steenkamp noted.

Get your facts right

Steenkamp further urged members of the public to first approach the ministry to get their facts right. “Just yesterday, when minister Anna Nghipondoka and I sat in a ‘Transforming Education’ summit here in France, Namibia was among the first countries praised for teaching learners in their mother tongue.”

She added that Namibia’s curriculum is one of the most progressive in Africa, including the prioritisation of mother-tongue teaching.

“We have made great strides in Namibia, not only on the level of mother-tongue teaching, but in other progressive areas in our curriculum as well. We have never shied away from confrontations and we welcome Professor Amupanda to provide what he thinks should be strategies that should be employed in public and private schools.”

Comments

Namibian Sun 2024-07-17

No comments have been left on this article

Please login to leave a comment

Currie Cup: NovaVit Griffons 10 vs 52 Vodacom Bulls Rugby World Cup U20: New Zealand U20 31 vs 55 France U20 | Australia U20 36 vs 29 Wales U20 | England U20 31 vs 20 Ireland U20 | Georgia U20 40 vs 36 Fiji U20 | Argentina U20 34 vs 24 South Africa U20 | Italy U20 28 vs 15 Spain U20 Katima Mulilo: 12° | 32° Rundu: 12° | 33° Eenhana: 11° | 33° Oshakati: 11° | 31° Ruacana: 14° | 31° Tsumeb: 15° | 29° Otjiwarongo: 9° | 28° Omaruru: 9° | 27° Windhoek: 8° | 23° Gobabis: 10° | 28° Henties Bay: 11° | 17° Wind speed: 18km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 06:18, High tide: 12:50, Low Tide: 18:28, High tide: 00:54 Swakopmund: 13° | 15° Wind speed: 23km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 06:16, High tide: 12:48, Low Tide: 18:26, High tide: 00:52 Walvis Bay: 11° | 20° Wind speed: 28km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 06:16, High tide: 12:47, Low Tide: 18:26, High tide: 00:51 Rehoboth: 9° | 25° Mariental: 9° | 26° Keetmanshoop: 9° | 23° Aranos: 9° | 27° Lüderitz: 10° | 18° Ariamsvlei: 9° | 21° Oranjemund: 10° | 18° Luanda: 20° | 22° Gaborone: 11° | 28° Lubumbashi: 12° | 29° Mbabane: 12° | 28° Maseru: 5° | 21° Antananarivo: 8° | 24° Lilongwe: 15° | 27° Maputo: 16° | 32° Windhoek: 8° | 23° Cape Town: 11° | 14° Durban: 14° | 27° Johannesburg: 12° | 22° Dar es Salaam: 21° | 29° Lusaka: 15° | 28° Harare: 13° | 27° Currency: GBP to NAD 23.65 | EUR to NAD 19.89 | CNY to NAD 2.51 | USD to NAD 18.19 | DZD to NAD 0.13 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.37 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.32 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.2 | USD to AOA 872.64 | USD to BWP 13.49 | USD to EGP 48.15 | USD to KES 129.98 | USD to NGN 1555 | USD to ZAR 18.19 | USD to ZMW 26.05 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index Same 0 | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1783.48 Down -2.4% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13456.34 Up +0.17% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 27828.92 Down -0.44% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9380.4 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 465.39/OZ DOWN -0.0012 | Copper US$ 4.41/lb DOWN -0.0104 | Zinc US$ 2 872.30/T DOWN -1.05% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 85.07/BBP UP +1.06% | Platinum US$ 1 009.32/OZ UP +0.67% Sport results: Currie Cup: NovaVit Griffons 10 vs 52 Vodacom Bulls Rugby World Cup U20: New Zealand U20 31 vs 55 France U20 | Australia U20 36 vs 29 Wales U20 | England U20 31 vs 20 Ireland U20 | Georgia U20 40 vs 36 Fiji U20 | Argentina U20 34 vs 24 South Africa U20 | Italy U20 28 vs 15 Spain U20 Weather: Katima Mulilo: 12° | 32° Rundu: 12° | 33° Eenhana: 11° | 33° Oshakati: 11° | 31° Ruacana: 14° | 31° Tsumeb: 15° | 29° Otjiwarongo: 9° | 28° Omaruru: 9° | 27° Windhoek: 8° | 23° Gobabis: 10° | 28° Henties Bay: 11° | 17° Wind speed: 18km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 06:18, High tide: 12:50, Low Tide: 18:28, High tide: 00:54 Swakopmund: 13° | 15° Wind speed: 23km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 06:16, High tide: 12:48, Low Tide: 18:26, High tide: 00:52 Walvis Bay: 11° | 20° Wind speed: 28km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 06:16, High tide: 12:47, Low Tide: 18:26, High tide: 00:51 Rehoboth: 9° | 25° Mariental: 9° | 26° Keetmanshoop: 9° | 23° Aranos: 9° | 27° Lüderitz: 10° | 18° Ariamsvlei: 9° | 21° Oranjemund: 10° | 18° Luanda: 20° | 22° Gaborone: 11° | 28° Lubumbashi: 12° | 29° Mbabane: 12° | 28° Maseru: 5° | 21° Antananarivo: 8° | 24° Lilongwe: 15° | 27° Maputo: 16° | 32° Windhoek: 8° | 23° Cape Town: 11° | 14° Durban: 14° | 27° Johannesburg: 12° | 22° Dar es Salaam: 21° | 29° Lusaka: 15° | 28° Harare: 13° | 27° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.65 | EUR to NAD 19.89 | CNY to NAD 2.51 | USD to NAD 18.19 | DZD to NAD 0.13 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.37 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.32 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.2 | USD to AOA 872.64 | USD to BWP 13.49 | USD to EGP 48.15 | USD to KES 129.98 | USD to NGN 1555 | USD to ZAR 18.19 | USD to ZMW 26.05 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index Same 0 | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1783.48 Down -2.4% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13456.34 Up +0.17% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 27828.92 Down -0.44% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9380.4 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 465.39/OZ DOWN -0.0012 | Copper US$ 4.41/lb DOWN -0.0104 | Zinc US$ 2 872.30/T DOWN -1.05% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 85.07/BBP UP +1.06% | Platinum US$ 1 009.32/OZ UP +0.67%