‘New’ language gets people talking
Speaking at a memorial service for the late Tanzanian President, John Magufuli, President Mokgweetsi Masisi dropped a bombshell.
“We have introduced Swahili into our curriculum,” announced Masisi, his statement receiving thunderous applause from his Tanzanian audience, where Swahili is an official language.
Closer to home, however, and Masisi’s comments were met with bemusement.
‘When was Swahili introduced and why?’ were reactions echoed up-and down the land as The Voice took to the streets to get the peoples thoughts on a foreign language being taught in school.
Bolokang Mmakgotso (38, Gabz)
I really don’t know what to say because to me it is quite a shock to receive such news.
I have schooled at the University of Botswana where there were many different languages such as the Chinese language and many others one could enrol in.
I, for one, am wondering what is the relevance of hurrying to teach such a foreign language, and is our Setswana language taught in these countries?
Looking at our neighbouring country South Africa, one person can know a total of seven local languages whereas here it’s very rare.
As old as I am, I only know Setswana and a bit of Kalanga and that on its own it’s shaming because there is no trace of patriotism in all this.
Katso Sibanda (21, Gabz)
There is absolutely no problem with Swahili being taught in schools.
Truth is, I have a lot of questions regarding the importance of the language to the lives of graduates.
I want to know if the language can be used in the real world to better the lives of graduates.
Usually a language is taught either to be used for work or to make connections at an international level.
So I want to understand if after they learn the language, will there be anything that follows regarding the significance of it?
Bosele Kgomotso (42, Gabz)
We have many local languages such as Sekgalagadi, Sekalaka and Sesarwa that represent our other tribes here at home.
I am just wondering instead of teaching foreign languages in schools, why don’t we teach these local ones.
For this reason alone I do not support the introduction of Swahili at all.
Chenamani Dambe (21, Matobo)
I do not agree with the idea of Swahili being taught in schools.
We have many different languages in our country, why can’t school-kids be taught about them?
How is Swahili important and why is it superior than our languages?
When and where will one ever need to speak Swahili?
Bojothe Mbulawa (19, Sekakangwe)
What is the importance of learning Swahili?
How will it benefit a Motswana?
And why Swahili all of a sudden when we have our own languages?
My self, I do not need to learn Swahili.
The people who will be taught it, how will they communicate with us who completed school because we don’t speak it!
Itumeleng Dube (20, Matshelagabedi)
I do not have a problem with Swahili be taught in schools so students know about it.
Maybe after finishing school they will find jobs in Tanzania and it will be easier for them to communicate when they get there.
We have to learn other languages and not just dwell only on Setswana.
Monametsi Mosupiemang (20, Gweta)
I don’t want Swahili taught in our schools because it does not have any importance.
We need Kalanga to be taught in schools because most of Bakalaka children are struggling with Setswana.
How can we introduce a foreign language in our country while we are still struggling with our own tongue!