Durban – The South African Hindu Dharma Sabha has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Minister of Basic Education, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Basic Education and other authorities calling for the amendment of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement to accommodate Eastern languages in the school curriculum.
In the letter dated September 17, Dharma Sabha president and chairperson of the National Council for Eastern Languages Ram Maharaj called for the re-instatement of Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Hindi, Arabic, Urdu and Sanskrit into the formal school curriculum.
“We respectfully recommend that the current Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement be amended to cater for a three-language policy as implemented in most countries. Language is the essence of heritage and is the root of culture. Our mother tongue languages define our identity. As this year 2020 marks the 160th anniversary of the arrival of our great ancestors from India, it is our resolve to keep their legacy of their mother tongue languages and cultures alive in South Africa.
“During the oppressive colonial and apartheid regime the Eastern languages were sidelined. We need redress and special dispensation as we suffered from disadvantage and discrimination in the past,” Maharaj said.
Basic Education Portfolio Committee secretary Llewellyn Brown said the email correspondence from the Dharma Sabha was forwarded to committee chairperson Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba as well as the office of the director-general for further directive.
Yesterday, Mbinqo-Gigaba said they had not dealt with the issue as the committee was still in recess. She said she might be able to provide a detailed and informed comment next week.