DOE staff members break the language barrier in KZN

21st May 2019

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Noluthando Makhaza

In a country as diverse, multicultural, and multilingual as South Africa, the ability to communicate in more than one language cannot be stressed any longer. Our education system has laid the foundation at basic education level where learners are expected to formally study one home language and one additional language, at least until matric. This has helped bridge the language barriers amongst learners and educators. Similarly, in different work environments, the language barriers still exist. With the objective to break these barriers, employees from the Department of Education (DOE) in and around KZN have recently enrolled in the Basic IsiZulu short course.    

The programme began a few weeks ago in Pietermaritzburg, was recently facilitated in Durban and will run again for another group in Ladysmith. The three different groups around the province are made up of support staff and educators within the department of which most of them are front line staff members offering a service to the public. Sharing his experience with us, Mr Joshua Naidoo, who works as an Administration Clerk in Pinetown, said:

“Being part of the Basic IsiZulu course has been a tremendous benefit to me. I used to speak ‘fanakalo-Zulu’, but now that I’ve been on the course, I’m learning the correct and accurate words that are to be used when conversing with someone in proper IsiZulu.  The course has been beneficial to me, very informative and practical. Going forward, it will place me in a better position and capacity to help the people I serve at work, to properly converse with my colleagues and to also interact more with the people in my church. I also look forward to upskilling more and enrolling into the intermediate programme”

The programme’s facilitation team is made up of our esteemed academics – Mrs. Thokozani Khuzwayo and Mrs. Mary Bloem. The facilitators covered various modules including; “IsiZulu culture, heritage and context”, “Pronunciation and greetings”, “Locatives”, “Sentence construction”, “Past, present and future tenses”. This course was customised and all modules were covered over a period of five days (Monday to Friday), as opposed to the standard three-month evening duration in our open programme.

Steve Rizzo once said, “Life is about growing, learning and becoming. You cannot grow, learn, or become if you cannot embrace the changes in your life”. Based on the positive feedback received, we trust that the programme’s desired outcomes were achieved and that delegates will be more confident when conversing with IsiZulu-speaking clients and colleagues on their return to work.

For those who would like to register for the Basis IsiZulu or the IsiZulu Intermediate programme, please contact:

Hameeda Cassim

T: +27 31 260 4913

E: [email protected]