Cape Town – Department of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that Kiswahili will become part of the curriculum by 2020. The department is also working on introducing coding and Marine Sciences to the curriculum.
The inclusion of Kiswahili as a second language in the curriculum was approved by the Council of Education Ministers. Motsekga says that currently learners are able to choose from 15 nonofficial languages, but do not have an African language to choose from.
Kiswahili is reported to be the third most spoken language on the continent and one of the official languages used by the African Union. Motshekga says that the department believes that the introduction of Kiswahili to the classroom will develop a sense of pride in the identity of learners and promote unity. Motshekga feels it was the clear choice as there are many linguistic similarities between the official South African languages and Kiswahili.
The spokesperson for the department Elijah Mhlanga says that many organizations have approached the department to implement coding in schools. He says at the moment there are many external programmes to teach learners and the interest has grown. Motshekga says that coding will promote the use of different skills and will be advantageous to the learners.
The department has also been working with the Two Oceans Aquarium in developing a Marine Sciences curriculum. Currently, the draft curriculum is being evaluated by Umalusi after its submission in March.
Education officials will be meeting to discuss the practical implementations of the changes. The change in languages is set to be implemented by 2020.