Pukke must not only reflect Afrikaans culture - forum

2015-08-26 09:12

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Mahikeng - The Potchefstroom campus of North West University must reflect a diversity of cultures, not only Afrikaans culture, a student forum has said.

In a memorandum to the university's council chairperson, and also addressed to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and Vice Chancellor Dan Kgwadi among others, the Pukke Transform Forum said while there was a need for change, a number of matters required urgent addressing.

"Institutional culture must reflect diverse cultures, not only Afrikaans culture," the forum said in the memorandum.

"Many students are unable to further pursue their studies because they do not understand Afrikaans. The university is also unwelcoming to black students."

The forum recommended the university actively push for the recruitment of black students and provide them with the necessary funding and psychological support.

"[The] university must come with programmes that will promote diversity and inclusivity amongst students," the forum said.

Among other problems were the "bullying" of students who did not conform to the dominant Afrikaans culture, the intentional pairing up of black students when residence rooms were allocated, and initiation at residences involving "explicit racism, homophobia and intimidation".

The language policy at the university continued to promote lingual exclusion, where no student should be forced to learn or communicate in Afrikaans.

"All classes must be available, alongside parallel Afrikaans classes, for those who prefer it."

The forum demanded the immediate removal of the translating devices because, among other reasons, they made learning ineffective as translators were not familiar or well informed on subjects, they damaged students' ear drums, and made black students feel excluded when using the headsets.

The forum demanded the appointment and promotion of more black academics and the "Eurocentric" curriculum to change to a more "Afrocentric" one.

The university's council were given until Thursday to respond, with the memorandum submitted last week Thursday.

Read more on:    north west university  |  mahikeng  |  education

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