Grades 1 & 2 to be taught an African language from 2016

MEC Panyaza Lesufi says his department will continue the fight for access to language options in education.

FILE. Grade one & two learners will be taught an African language as of 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Tuesday said that from next year, all grade one and grade two pupils will be taught an African language.

As Youth Day celebrations kicked off, the MEC said his department would continue the fight started by the youth of 1976 for access to language options in education.

On Monday, Lesufi led a group of over 3,000 school pupils to the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto to remember the sacrifices made for education.

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The MEC said language was still as important to factor in education now as it was for the youth of 1976.

"June 16th was about language and I am proud that as of next year grades one and two across the system will be taught one African language so that every child can know an African language in our schooling system."

Tuesday marked almost 40 years since thousands of Soweto school pupils marched against the apartheid government's language policy.

The Education Department has said it would recommit itself to ensuring that Gauteng pupils have complete access to quality education.