On the 3rd of February 2012 the Guardian reported that Deputy Minister for Education and Vocational Training Philipo Mulugo said that the government was in the process of drafting a new policy to make Kiswahili the language of instruction in secondary schools. Thirty years earlier, in 1982, the Makweta commission came up with the same recommendation. Both before and after this date there have been policy drafts showing a commitment to shift the LOI from English to Kiswahili in secondary education. The policies have never got out of the pipeline. What has been the role of donors, the African elite and the general public? Since the first policy draft much research in Tanzania shows the detrimental effect on secondary school learners using English as a language of instruction. The 2014 education and training policy allows the use of Kiswahili as the language of instruction in secondary as well as in tertiary education. So far there is, however, no secondary school in Tanzania that has followed up the opportunity launched in this policy. The policy is, however, ambivalent. In one paragraph the recommendation is for the strengthening of Kiswahili. In the next the strengthening of English is recommended.
The Zimbabwe language situation has, for a long time, profiled English, Ndebele and Shona as the main languages for communication and for study up to university level. The rest of the languages spoken in the country carry the ‘minority’ languages label, with only recognition being just as home languages. Only the constitution of the country recognises sixteen languages as official languages but that is how far it goes. Kalanga or Tjikalanga is one of the non-dominant languages that have strongly fought for visibility. Names of business projects and signage in the rural town of Plumtree, an originally predominantly Kalanga speaking area, indicate availability of a resource for TjiKalanga teaching and learning outside the classroom. An onomastic reading of Plumtree Rural Municipality ergonyms demonstrates an unwritten language policy that is meant to make them a live learning and teaching resource. TjiKalanga is a cross-border language in the sense that the language is also spoken in some parts of Botswana, and hence; efforts of revival would receive moral and, most probably, material support from across the border. This chapter argues that linguistic landscape can play a significant role in promoting, the teaching and learning outside the classroom; of non-dominant languages in Zimbabwe.
Compared with other African countries, where languages from different families coexist, Madagascar exhibits relative homogeneity among varieties of the Malagasy language; nonetheless, politicians and educators have struggled to enact effective language policy. Two layers of linguistic power conflict have developed in Madagascar: in the pre-colonial period, between the Merina Malagasy variety of the capital and varieties spoken by other ethnic groups; and during French colonisation, between French and Malagasy. French was generally the unique language of instruction beyond primary school throughout colonisation. After Malagasy independence, the “malagasization” policy sought to phase French out of the system. Following the failure of this program, however, French was reinstated. These contradictory policies hindered the linguistic development of a generation of students. Although French remains the official language of instruction after primary school, modern classrooms do not reflect this, often because students’ and/or teachers’ competence is inadequate, hampering student success in all fields. Students also experience ideological conflicts, with some rejecting French and many seeing English as more practical. Recognizing these difficulties, a forthcoming policy change proposes a shift to a two-way bilingual education model. If implemented successfully, this could help combat negative linguistic ideologies and effect positive change for Malagasy education.
For a long time, the notion of African philosophy has been in scrutiny, particularly with regard to content, rationality and the universal nature of the field of philosophy. While it is true that all humans are ethnically what they are by accident and that they are all substantively human before being any other thing, it is also true that, philosophically speaking, the social milieu in which they are born and raised plays a huge role in shaping their understanding of the world. Thus, language as a medium of communication and knowledge acquisition, particularly the mother tongue, is central to human thought since both language and thought are a basis of human life. This chapter decorticates the history and context of language in Lesotho. It considers African indigenous knowledge and language as a tool of African philosophy. It argues through Sesotho proverbs, idiomatic expressions, figures of speech, etc. that the whys of African life are better accessed through language without which, they remain incomprehensible. The chapter argues for a stand-alone all-encompassing umbrella policy elaborated with the aim to protect language through introduction of a well thought-out language curriculum that includes Botho in order to address ethical problems in Lesotho.
The purpose of this chapter is to map the historical and ideological processes that led to the current Angolan language education policies and their impacts. The chapter combines Tollefson’s historical-structural approach to examine how the interests of dominant sociopolitical groups are maintained through medium of instruction policies with an examination inspired by Educational Linguistics research. In addition, the paper problematises and critically analyses how Portuguese dominant ideologies influence and are influenced by circulating discourses and how these shape language learning policies and parents’ decisions regarding language choice and provides future prospects on the use of African languages as medium of instruction in schools in Angola. It has been argued that the allocation of the status provides greater chances to improve societal functions of language. It is, therefore, recommended that further steps be made towards the recognition of African languages not only as part of cultural and linguistic heritage of the country, but also as medium of instruction. It is imperative that the statuses of languages and African languages in particular be put to public scrutiny, that is, by promoting a national debate on the current linguistic situation and its implication for the protection of linguistic diversity and multilingualism in Angola.
Botswana has 28 ethnic language communities, although in most literature only Setswana is spoken of. English and Setswana are the only languages used in education. This practice of using only two languages started during the colonial period and continued after independence in 1966. However, this languages in education practice is not based on a policy document, but on different requirements in the statutes which have nothing to do with education. Other ethnic languages are overlooked by this restrictive language in education practice, and this obscures the multilingualism and multiculturalism nature of the country. In some areas of the country where Setswana is not spoken, children who start primary school experience difficulties as school languages (Setswana and English) are foreign to them. For decades now, research has contended for an inclusive mother tongue use in education. Research has also shown that the primary school leaving examinations results are very poor for some of these children. This chapter argues for an inclusive mother tongue education policy which will make education accessible to all children from different ethnic language communities. This will enhance democratisation of the curriculum and creation of better learning environment for children.
This chapter includes an overview of language policy in Eswatini, including the place of English, the language of the past colonial power, and siSwati, the majority language of Eswatini. Throughout its recent history and mandated constitutionally, language policy in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) requires the use of two principal languages—siSwati and English; however, there has been and continues to be a tension between policy and practice, notably in education. There is often a practical preference for English, related to monetary and social status motives, in contrast to a constitutional support for siSwati, to maintain cultural integrity and continuity. In addition, pedagogical studies suggest that education in one’s primary language enhances academic success. When Mordaunt published his work on Eswatini language policy in 1990, there was evidence that this social and economic pressure to defer to English in schools was already present, and it remains evident in Eswatini today.
Although South Africa has a very advanced and multilingual language policy with a declaration of eleven official languages in its Constitution of 1996, the implementation thereof remains a challenge. The current President Cyril Ramaphosa was the first Post-Apartheid President who used Khoekhoegowab in his State of the Nation (SONA) in 2019. Such was not the first time a President of South Africa highlighted and signposted the relevance of language policy. Due to colonialism and its dichotomy between Dutch and later Afrikaans and English and the highly politicized language policy during apartheid as THE core area and representation of constructed socio-linguistically segregation language policy in South Africa is a highly emotional and contested topic as well as African languages suffer from such stigmatization. Despite a general multilingual tone reflected in the Constitution and the South African School Act (SASA) of 1996 with its establishment of so called School Governing Bodies (SGB s), which offer a micro language policy opportunity, nothing much has significantly changed on the ground for pupils. The 2013 political initiative ‘The Incremental Introduction of African Languages in South African schools’ (IIAL) aimed to ensure the teaching of African languages at ALL South African schools to uplift the widespread low language attitudes towards African languages.