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'IsiZulu should be taught in lower grade'

Musician Johnny Clegg has advised the Education Dept to consider offering isiZulu in lower grade.

Musician Johnny Clegg has advised the Education Department to consider offering isiZulu in lower grade. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Legendary musician Johnny Clegg says the Department of Education should consider introducing isiZulu in lower grade as most students are battling.

This follows the Basic Education Department's language policy which will be implemented next year.

The policy mandates the learning of an African language in all schools.

Clegg told the Redi Tlhabi Show that non-Zulu speaking learners were battling in matric.

"My son, who is just finishing matric now took IsiZulu in primary right up to grade 10 and then the government introduced a kind of a ramping up of isiZulu which was much more tough and comprehensive. He then dropped out and took Afrikaans."

Clegg said isiZulu in lower grade would help those learners whose mother tongue is not isiZulu.

"I wrote isiZulu for matric in 1969. It was my seventh subject. I thought myself from a handbook and I wrote isiZulu which was called Zulu lower grade. It was pretty tough even then, but I passed. I think that's going to have to be reconsidered as part of the syllabus if the indigenisation language issue takes place."

He also says a key to learning any other language is to get a friend that you talk to every day in order to improve.

At the same time, the University of KwaZulu-Natal will make isiZulu language classes compulsory to all its first years in 2014.

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