SA adds Mandarin to school curriculum

The school curriculum in South Africa will officially include the Chinese language of Mandarin from January 2016.

This is according to Department of Basic Education spokesperson Troy Martens, who told BusinessTech that it will be added as a “second – elective subject”.

China is South Africa’s biggest trading partner, and from January 2016, learners in grades 4 to 12 will be able to pick up the Chinese language.

In March last year, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga signed an implementation plan between the Ministry of Education in China and the Department of Basic Education to strengthen education ties at an institutional and policy level.

One aspect of the agreement included cultural exchange and the promotion of Mandarin being taught in South African schools.

“There are currently six Confucius institutions in South Africa and with the help of the Chinese Government a curriculum for the teaching of Chinese will be developed to be offered in some schools around the country,” Motshekga said at the time.

According to Martens, Mandarin will be taught “almost as a third language – it will not affect home language and first additional languages” currently taught.

The spokesperson said that implementation plans were still being finalised, but Mandarin will be instituted in ‘a select number of schools’ from 2016.

According to the DBE, schools offering Mandarin from 2016 include:

School District Street Address
Chipa-Tabane Secondary School Gauteng North 1988 Zwane Drive, Refilwe Location, Cullinan, 1000
Ekangala Secondary School Gauteng North 854 D Section, Ekangala, Pretoria,1020
Gekobineerde Skool Cullinan Gauteng North Zonderwater Road, Cullinan, Cullinan/ Pretoria
Constatiakloop Primary School Johannesburg West 21 Lievensberg Road, Constantiakloof, Roodepoort, 1710
Dainfern College Johannesburg North Bachers Drive, Deinfern, Midrand, 2055
Lesedi Secondary School Gauteng North 82 Donkerhoek Plot, Donkerhoek, Cullinan, 0122
Kutumela-Molefi Intermediary Farm School Gauteng North 5 Off old PTA Swartkoppies Farm, Oold Bronkhorstspruit Road, Cullinan, 0112

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SA adds Mandarin to school curriculum