“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,” said Basil Kivedo, member of the provincial Parliament and DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Education.

The announcement was made on Sunday.

“If and when offered, I urge all learners and parents to tap into the opportunity for learners to be taught in their home language,” said Kivedo, who is also the Chairperson of the standing committee on education.

“I’d like to commend Minister Debbie Schafer and the Western Cape Educational Department (WCED) for making the decision to implement isiXhosa in an additional 254 725 Grade 1 classes, reaching over 26 000 schools across our province at the start of the second term this year.

READ MORE: Target schools to offer African languages from Grade 1 in 2018

The South African Constitution (Act No.108 of 1996), the SA Schools Act (Act 84 of 1996) and the WCED 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,” said Kivedo.

“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.”

– African News Agency