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MLG piggybacks on pilot pre-school progamme

Staff Writer
The Ministry of Local Government (MLG) has introduced a Setswana and English languages pre-primary school programme for children in remote area settlements.

As part of the Remote Area Development Program (RADP), children in remote settlements who only encounter Setswana and English in their first year of primary schooling, will be eased into learning the languages before they begin their formal primary education.  

This is to mitigate the high failure rate in these areas, often attributed to the difficulty the children face in having to learn Setswana for the first time, while it is also used as a language of instruction. Assistant Minister of Local Government Botlogile Tshireletso announced this development in the basic education curriculum at a kgotla meeting in Zutshwa in the Kgalagadi District over the weekend.

Speaking to Mmegi in an interview yesterday, Tshireletso could not say whether the programme will be extended to other areas in which Setswana is not a first language because she is only responsible for remote area dwellers (RADS), she said.

Tshireletso said teaching aids for Basarwa children have already been provided at some schools in the settlements to teach pre-primary children the Setswana and English languages. She said as a ministry, they intend to extend the programme to

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all primary schools in remote area settlements.  The Assistant Minister said this was in response to residents' request to help their children. This move comes at a time when groups such as Reteng Multicultural Coalition have been advocating for other indigenous languages, outside of Setswana, to be taught in schools.   Earlier this year, chairperson of Reteng Dr Ndana Ndana told Mmegi in an interview that government has failed to come up with practical ways to demonstrate its commitment to the recognition and preservation of all indigenous languages in the country.

Ndana said that government has argued that lack of human resources is a stumbling block against the teaching of indigenous languages. But he said this was easy to resolve by using speakers of the respective languages while government works on creating an enabling environment through formulating a language policy.

There are 64 RADP settlements in the country and Basarwa constitute the majority of residents in these settlements.

The MLG programme is 'piggy-backing' on the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD)'s pre-school programme, which is currently being piloted in the country.



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