Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Afrikaans must play a more prominent role in higher education

“The attack launched on Afrikaans by the government and its followers, like the vice-chancellors at certain universities, is short sighted, unconstitutional and clearly an attempt at eradicating the language at institutions of higher education,” Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader.

 Groenewald during the budget debate of the department of higher education in parliament referred to the 2002 Jakes Gerwel report on language policy at institutions of higher education that made it very clear that there must be two Afrikaans, or predominantly Afrikaans, universities in South Africa.

“One in the north and the other in the south of our country”

“At present, South Africa has 26 universities with 38 campuses and despite the fact that the country’s Constitution clearly states in Section 29 that Afrikaans-speaking people have the right to receive education in their mother tongue, the language is taking a heavy pounding.

“At the North West University’s Potchefstroom campus, the opponents of Afrikaans are not even happy to have interpreting services for those students who are not fluent in Afrikaans. The other two campuses are completely English.

“A few weeks ago during open day, the rector of the Potchefstroom campus, Prof Fika Janse van Rensburg, told parents that the university will promote multilingualism. The dean at the Faculty of Law, however, tells a different story by saying that in 2020 all classes will be presented in English.

“This is misleading parents and serves as proof that the life is being strangled out of Afrikaans at institutions of higher education. Students must be given the opportunity to choose in which language they want to study. There are many Afrikaans-speaking students who want to study in their mother tongue.

“The FF Plus is calling on the Minister (Naledi Pandor) to consider whether certain universities can have campuses that are predominantly Afrikaans. The opposition against Afrikaans at universities is unconstitutional and the Minister has the power to make a difference.

“In Minister Pandor’s response to a question posed by the FF Plus on the conditions for assistance from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, she indicated that students who do not pass their first academic year at university will no longer receive financial aid.

“The FF Plus welcomes this seeing as it would be unfair to waste tax payers’ hard-earned money on students who are not serious about their studies,” Groenewald said.




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