The FF Plus welcomes the positive comments of the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, regarding the importance of mother tongue education and that students who speak other languages are being disadvantaged because they are struggling in English, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Higher Education and Training said.
At the same time there is great dissatisfaction in the Western Cape amongst students at the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute over an instruction of the DA government that training at the College will only be undertaken in English until a solution has been found for the protests of a handful of black students opposing instruction in Afrikaans.
Mr. Darryn Jacobs, acting deputy director general of agricultural development and support services in the Western Cape GA government, had given instructions in a letter that training will only take place in English until a solution had been found for the black student’s grievances.
Adv. Alberts says it is widely known that the FF Plus has for years been driving the issue and have battled with the government and Nzimande about this issue.
“The minister had just a month ago still replied to a parliamentary question I had asked about the issue, that English will remain the language of preference in education.
“He still said about the issue: ‘English is an international language which is being used in higher education throughout the world. It is practically the designated main language to use in South African institutions for education and training’.
“This week he said, according to a Network24 report, that students should have their training in their mother tongues because they often struggle in English.
“The FF Plus believes that the minister and government have realised that it plays a huge role in the poor performance of South Africa’s educational performance on all levels over the past couple of years and we welcome this.
“It is however a pity that the DA is now discriminating against more than 150 Afrikaans students for the sake of a handful of students who are insisting on English. The FF Plus will meet with the Western Cape’s MEC for agriculture to clear up this issue,” Adv. Alberts said.
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