ANC government must explain about race-based awarding of state study bursaries

Adv Anton Alberts

The ANC government must explain why a national bursary scheme for teachers, which was implemented nearly a decade ago to assist all prospective students to study to become teachers, will in future just be awarded to persons who will be teaching in a black language, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on basic education says.

According to a report in the Cape Times today, the comprehensive Funza Lushaka bursary scheme, which had previously been offered to a quarter of prospective education students in conjunction with universities, will in future only be awarded to persons who can already speak a black language and will mainly be teaching the foundation phase (Grade 1 to 3) in that language.

Adv. Alberts says that it is clear that the bursaries will in future mainly be given to black students only and that white and brown students will be totally excluded as prospective students should already be able to speak a black language when they apply for the bursary.

“What will be happening through this is nothing other than racial discrimination against all young people who can only speak Afrikaans and English. This is in direct conflict with the Constitution which stipulates that all eleven languages should receive equal treatment from the state.

“How ironic that the state enforces such discriminatory practices against white and black to promote mother tongue education amongst black learners while Afrikaans as a medium of instruction of a mother tongue is trampled into the ground and Afrikaans schools and universities’ futures are becoming more uncertain.

“From the report it appears that Afrikaans and English learners were approached and that they are very upset because they are now at the receiving end of racism, 21 years after the advent of democracy.

“The FF Plus will not accept this situation and will ask the minister to explain what is happening. It is extremely worrying that state funds are now being used to discriminate against white and brown students,” Adv. Alberts says.


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