Today's Big Stories

'Afrikaans is useless for my child, why is it compulsory?'

Udo Carelse (standing in for John Robbie) took a call this morning from a listener Babalwa, whose daughter is in Grade 5 and currently battling with Afrikaans. Babalwa wants to know why Afrikaans is still compulsory in schools?

If a language is not used all the time, everywhere; it is not part of the global community. Afrikaans is not useful to anyone outside of a minority in South Africa. Why then should it be enforced and forced on our children?

Babalwa, listener in Westdene

Udo Carelse received a flood of smses and tweets responding to Babalwa's comment.

An educator called in and commented that it is up the schools' governing bodies to decide on which additional language to apply to the school. She advises that it is actually for a child's brain development to learn more than 1 language. She also says that she found that some learners chose Afrikaans (over African languages) as they say that it is easier to do well in.

She also adds that literature and text books in African languages get harder to find as you go higher in grade.

Listen to the conversation below:


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