Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mother tongue education vital to learning

By Tando Mfengwana
27 September 2006

A Human Science Research Council report says that pupils who have less than six years of mother tongue education are likely to fall behind up until matric after switching from their home language to an international language, like English.

The report is based on an international meeting of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) that saw ministers of education from African countries meet in Gabon in March this year.

The ministers discussed the use of mother tongue education as well as the findings of the ADEA Unesco institute for Education study.

The Chief research specialist in the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme with the HSRC, Kathleen Heugh wrote that if all goes well, learners would be better prepared to begin learning an international language from the beginning of Grade 7.

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