Dropping of Afrikaans at UFS violates Constitution - AfriForum

2016-06-20 16:10
(via Web)

(via Web)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bloemfontein - The removal of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at the University of Free State (UFS) was a violation of the Constitution, the Bloemfontein High Court heard on Monday.

"Afrikaans has a right to survive. This matter is about the supremacy of the Constitution," Johan du Toit SC, representing AfriForum, told a full bench of judges.

In March, the university reached a unanimous decision to make English the primary medium of instruction from 2017.

The university's council said English would be the primary medium of instruction at undergraduate and postgraduate level on the three campuses situated in Bloemfontein and QwaQwa.

The council also said that multilingualism would be supported by an expanded tutorial system especially designed for first-year students.

The council said that in professional programmes - such as teacher education and the training of theology students who wished to enter the ministry in traditional Afrikaans-speaking churches, where there was a clear market need,  the parallel-medium teaching in English-Afrikaans and Sesotho and Zulu would continue.

It also added that the primary formal language of the university administration would be English, but with sufficient flexibility of multilingualism across the university.

However, soon after the decision was taken, AfriForum approached the High Court for an interdict against the university.

Advocate Greta Engelbrecht, also representing AfriForum, argued that the language policy decision taken by the university was unconstitutional.

"There is a Constitutional issue at stake," she said.

"We should consider Law students who might want to offer their services in Afrikaans... and most of the students studying Theology preferred Afrikaans.

"They [university] wish to shackle Afrikaans in its historical notion of oppression."

However, Jeremy Gauntlett SC, representing the university, said language had become a surrogate for colour segregation in classes.

"The university has to adopt a position for what is best for its function - and [it] needs to do what is best for the community," he said.

Gauntlett also argued that there was a high demand for English and that, through the implementation of the policy, there would be no job losses at the university.

Judgment was reserved in the matter.

Read more on:    ufs  |  afriforum  |  bloemfontein  |  language  |  education

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.