National language and book policies

This page provides links to language and book policies in developing countries, and research on the impact of national book policies for content creators and publishers.

Toward Sustainable Provision of Teaching and Learning Materials in Sub-Saharan Africa - a report by Tony Read for the World Bank.

Author
Tony Read

This basic act enables the promotion and regulation of free and compulsory basic education. It also provides for accredition, registration and management of institutions of basic education.

Author
Ministry of Education
Publisher
Ministry of Education

The language environment in the Eastern and Southern Region of Africa is rich and dynamic. Many African languages, including Amharic, Kirundi, Swahili, isiZulu, Kinyarwanda, Chichewa, Luganda, Kikuyu, Malagasy, Oromo, and Somali are spoken as mother tongues by millions of African citizens. Some may also serve as regional and national languages.

Author
Barbara Trudell
UNICEF
Publisher
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

In 2017, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) said that 27% of public schools nationally are implementing the Incremental Introduction of African Languages (IIAL) in Grades 1 and 2 in 2017 despite challenges, which included an inadequate number of willing and competent teachers as well as negative attitudes and misconceptions about African languages being inferior in the global scheme.

Author
Department of Basic Education
Publisher
Department of Basic Education

After Independence in March 1990, the then Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture and Sport began reviewing the language policy for schools. The agreed policy was issued in the document Education and Culture in Namibia: The Way Forward to 1996 in 1991.

The policy goals include:

Author
Ministry of Basic Education
Sport and Culture (MBESC)

The language policy of education in Ghana has had a checkered history since the colonial era. In May 2002, Ghana promulgated a law, which mandates the use of English language as the medium of instruction from primary one (grade one) to replace the use of a Ghanaian language as the medium of instruction for the first three years of schooling, and English as the medium of instruction from primary four (grade four).

Author
Charles Owu-Ewie

For many years, linguists, educators and other academics have been calling upon the government of Botswana to develop a language policy which will recognize and empower all the ethnic groups represented in the country.

Author
Lydia Nyati-Ramahobo

Literacy lies at the heart of UNESCO’s concerns and makes up an essential part of its mandate, being entwined with the right to education set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. These concerns have to do with promoting the meaningful acquisition and application of literacy in laying the basis for positive social transformation, justice, and personal and collective freedom.

Author
UNESCO

Malawi has over 16 local languages. However, not all these languages are used as school languages in the education system. The illiteracy rate in Malawi is one of the highest in Southern Africa at 58% (UNICEF: 1993). This paper discusses Malawi's school language policy.

Author
Benri G Chilora

Approximately 25 different languages are spoken in South Africa, of which 11 have been granted official status in terms of section 6 of the Constitution (Act No. 108 of 1996), on the grounds that their usage includes about 98% of the total population.

Author
Department of Arts and Culture
Publisher
Department of Arts and Culture