It sends chills down one’s spine to watch the unravelling sensation over the introduction of Mandarin as an unofficial, optional language in our public schools, when a simple, yet uncommunicated process that rolled out is as follows:
* The Department of Basic Education released Circular S10 of 2015 in July titled “Incremental Implementation of Mandarin as a Non-Official Language from 2016-2018”, announcing to provincial departments of education and other education stakeholders the introduction of Mandarin as an optional, unofficial language in public schools covering grades R to 12. Why?
* It singled out Mandarin because it is not offered in all the grades in public schools, while other optional languages (German, Serbian, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, Spanish, French, Tamil, Telegu, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Gujarati) are already offered in upper grades (8 to 12), and German and Serbian in grades 7 to 9. They and Mandarin therefore all need to be offered in the lower grades, incrementally, at the same time, and Mandarin in all the grades.