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 Prof. Zubeida Desai

Position:  
Department: Faculty of Education Managers
Faculty: Faculty of Education
Qualifications: Prof Desai holds a BA in English, History and Anthropology from the University of London, a Higher Diploma in Education from the University of South Africa, and an MA in Language and Literature in Education from the Institute of Education, London. She earned her PhD in Education from UWC with the title of her PhD being  A case for mother tongue education?.
Tel: 021-9592649
Fax: 021-9592647
Email: zdesai@uwc.ac.za
Research:
 
 
 
 

Biography

 Professor Zubeida Desai was the previous Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of the Western Cape, a position she has held since 2007. Prof Desai has been active in language education policy development in South Africa for more than two decades, maintaining a particular interest in education policy, mother tongue education and language rights. She has taught high school English on the Cape Flats in the Western Cape, and has been an academic at UWC since 1989.

Prof Desai holds a BA in English, History and Anthropology from the University of London, a Higher Diploma in Education from the University of South Africa, and an MA in Language and Literature in Education from the Institute of Education, London. She earned her PhD in Education from UWC with the title of her PhD being  A case for mother tongue education?.

She was the South African coordinator of the Language of Instruction in Tanzania and South Africa (LOITASA) Project, which started in 2002 and was funded by Norway. The focus of the project was to investigate whether learners learn better if they are taught in a familiar language as opposed to a foreign language.

Publications

 

Networks

 Prof Zubeida Desai is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the series Multilingualism and Linguistic Diversity, published by Swets and Zeitlinger, and also for The Journal of Post-Colonial Education, published by James Nicholas Publishers. Since 2000, she has served on the Editorial Board of the Southern African Journal of African Languages, the journal of the African Languages Association of Southern Africa (http://www.alasa.org.za/).

Prof Desai has been part of several task teams advising government at various levels on matters such as language policy at a tertiary level and issues of diversity in South African schools. She served a five-year term on – and in 1999 was elected Chairperson of – the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), an independent statutory body set up by the government in terms of Clause 6 of the 1996 Constitution.

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