If the government means business and is not using delaying tactics to hoodwink people, this is what can be done. Work can start today.
1. An amendment of the constitution must be prepared for the next sitting of the Legislative Assembly. Mauritian Creole and Rodriguan Creole must be made the National Languages – not to confuse with our Official language, English and our Semi-Official language, French – of the Republic to be henceforth known as Mauritian and Rodriguan.
2. A committee of the House should be set up chaired by the Speaker to train staff and amend the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly to allow for the use of Mauritian. Members must be briefed on the phonology, syntax and lexis of our National Language.
3. The Mauritius Institute of Education must set up a committee of trained creolists who are conversant with the subtleties and intricacies of Mauritian and/or Rodriguan and English to produce manuals in BILINGUAL LITERACY (B.L) for grade 1 to 9 (nine-year schooling). This special subject will make all children literate in Mauritian and English. It should be compulsory but NON-EXAMINABLE. It could be introduced in all schools in January 2020.
4. The Mauritius Examinations Syndicate should urgently prepare the syllabus of B.L for forms 4, 5 and 6 as an optional subject and negotiations with CES (Cambridge Examinations Syndicate) should start NOW and B.L introduced in form 4 in January 2020. Students may take B.L at S.C (O-level) in 2021 and H.S.C (subsidiary) in 2023. Eventually, we could plan and introduce A-level/Main B.L.
5. Teacher Training and Textbook Writing in B.L, if work starts now, can be completed before the beginning of 2020.
6. In all villages and urban quarters evening classes in B.L will allow people to master reading and writing in Mauritian and English. NGO volunteers will be trained for the job.
Let us not waste precious time in committees and sub-committees which specialise in talk-talk-talk and no walk. LET US WALK THE TALK!
The Maritime Republic of Mauritius will benefit from this.
• Economically, we will have a literate labour force able to adapt to technological and other changes;
• Politically, we will have a literate citizenry who will not need symbols to vote and this will make democracy more vibrant at grassroots and parliamentary levels;
• Culturally, we will be able to develop a supra-ethnic culture and become a true RAINBOW NATION.
English (a Creole Language) has developed from a pidgin into a WORLD LINGUAFRANCA without an Academy to control or promote its growth. Let us adopt a more democratic approach and trust our universities, our pedagogical institutions and above all our writers and thinkers.