English-only comments distorted - Jansen

2013-10-02 13:01

Bloemfontein - A careful argument on language in education has been distorted to create a media hype, Free State University rector Jonathan Jansen said on Wednesday.

"It still amazes me how a careful argument about language inclusivity can be seriously distorted for maximum media hype," Jansen said on his twitter account in reply to a report about a speech in September.

Afrikaans newspapers Beeld and Volksblad published front page articles on Jansen’s opinion that exclusive white Afrikaans schools and universities held a danger for race relations in South Africa.

Jansen’s comments were made while delivering the Percy Baneshik Memorial Lecture of the English Academy of South Africa on 18 September.

Mother tongue education

In his speech, Jansen said English and not Afrikaans could be the "taal van versoening" - language of reconciliation - for South Africa.

He said English could also be the one major solution for the crisis in education.

"Instruct every teacher and every child in English from the first day of school rather than add the burden of poor instruction in the mother-tongue in the foundation years to the trauma of transition to English later on."

Jansen said for many parents English was already the language of choice in schools.

The reason for this was that indigenous languages were poorly taught.

He said learning in a mother tongue was no guarantee of improved learning gains in school.

Threat to race relations

The Kovsie rector said English could be the foundation for a common language. He said he understood that the symbolism of supporting indigenous languages had a political value beyond his pragmatic reasoning.

Language differences were of themselves not contentious, but the mobilisation of languages for political purposes constituted the problem.

For this reason Afrikaans-dominant white schools and universities represented a serious threat to race relations in South Africa, he said.

"You simply cannot prepare young people for dealing with the scars of our violent past without creating optimal opportunities in the educational environment for living and learning together."

Jansen said English had levelled the playing fields in the historically Afrikaans universities for common engagement between students.

The Kovsie rector confirmed his opinion on English as a reconciliation language in a tweet on Wednesday.

"I also believe that there is no way in which young people across divisions can heal past rifts without a common language; that is English," Jansen’s tweet read.

AfriForum criticism

AfriForum on Wednesday criticised Jansen's remarks, saying his "disregard of language rights [is] a bigger danger to reconciliation than to Afrikaans".

Jansen's comments about English being used as the medium of education and the danger of so-called white, Afrikaans schools "not only raises concerns about the future of Afrikaans at the University of the Free State, but also steps into the trap of political ideology and rhetoric to the extent that he loses sight of academic and cultural rights and principles", said Alana Bailey, deputy CEO of AfriForum and deputy chair of the Afrikaans Language Board.

Mother tongue education is an internationally recognised principle, Bailey added.

"No single language can foster mutual respect and recognition by dominance. It will only be reached by the promotion of all South African languages."

  • Thukhe Ndlovu Farmer - 2013-10-02 13:06

    Ja right!

      Ayanda Koza - 2013-10-02 13:44

      Reality is that white Afrikaans institutions hamper race relations in SA. Children are still being forced to learn Afrikaans. No wonder that pupils are retaliating against these oppressive institutions

      Gerrit13 - 2013-10-02 14:16

      Well said Fabola.

      Fabola Guregua - 2013-10-02 14:28

      We need a party that is willing to confront the issues of white privilege, racism and profound racial inequality without falling into the now default post-racial, colourblind mindset. We need more people who are profoundly colour conscious and aware of how race continues to shape the lives of people of colour, and elevate whites. We need a party that looks at both sides of the racial inequality equation: The underprivileged black side and the over-privileged white side of the equation.

      Babs Putar - 2013-10-02 14:34

      I attended Afrikaans schools -Matriculated. My English is better than most English speaking people. Why you may ask? Because we had great caliber teachers. My son attended Afrikaans schools - matriculated. Is fluent in English!! My grandson attended Afrikaans schools - matriculated. Is fluent in English!!! We - myself and my family never ever had problems using the English language. We are not going through life with blinkers. We know that English is a universal language. We know that you won't get far. without it. There are many Afrikaners who are top class people and who have achieved! I am an Afrikaner and proud of it. Why is it that so many parents, and here I am talking about black parents still prefer sending their kids to Afrikaans schools. Because most of the teachers are dedicated and their is still some discipline is these schools. Once you can say you have a decent education I suggest keep quiet!

      Rocky Bell - 2013-10-02 14:45

      Fabola. Copy and paste from other articles????????. Try to be original

      Johannekie Schnetler - 2013-10-02 14:54

      @Fabola I don't know where you get your stats from, but I am a white woman, and could not get a permanent job because of my skin colour. And I have a Engineering degree and 2 specialist certifications. And I am not the only one. Also the reason why the white unemployment rate is less tahn any other colour is because as we all know the white race is the MINORITY in SA, hence a lower rate. Simple maths if you ever passed it. As far as English as a foundation language... I absolutely agree. It doesn't matter what your mother tongue is, I would think it will be easier to get educated in English sonce this is the language that Business will be done in after school.

      Fabola Guregua - 2013-10-02 14:59

      @ Joe: When they calculate the unemployment rate of a particular race, they look at that race in isolation so the fact that whites are a numerical minority doesn’t mean we can’t compare the white unemployment rate to the non white unemployment rate.

      Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat - 2013-10-02 15:24

      Actually, Ayanda, Afrikaans developed over 400 years right here in Africa, so it is an African language. I'll ask you something: Pupils struggle with maths in SA. Why? Because it is taught in English, Afrikaans and maybe in an African language. You bring a child from the township into a class and expect him to understand Engish, just because. Afrikaans kids don't have any issues, because they know the language and the SUBJECT MATTER has been developed. So teachers are able to teach these subjects to them in their mother tongue. Same with English. In 20 years, could the department not develop African language subject matter to teach kids in their mother tongue? The problem is NOT Afrikaans. It is the lack of other languages. There are not enough material to use. Is this perhaps due to laziness? Lack of willpower? Ah, it is the ANC that need to keep the masses stupid. There is NO law against using any language in any school. What are you doing to assist in the situation? Why have you not started a group to go and translate the English and Afrikaans into an African language and teach the African teachers to teach in those languages? None of this is done fast enough. And they have had 20 years in which to do it. How long would it take, do you think? Oh no. Why not just blame the white Afrikaans speaking people for the fact that none of my brothers or sisters have had the willpower to create African language subject matter for my kids.

      Jacques Booyse - 2013-10-02 15:52

      oh juju Really Man That Will Never Happen You Really need To Get An Education My Friend So You Can Realise That All You Are Doing By Making These Idiotic Comments Is Making Everyone Realise That You Are A Child And Do Not Know What It Takes To Run A Country Like Ours, By Threatening Other races And Cultures You Are Only Making It Harder For Yourself To Move On And Stop Bickering About The Past

      Anuschka Klusmann - 2013-10-02 15:54

      Ayanda and Juliyas Are your parents siblings? If you're gonna be a smartass, first you have to be smart. Otherwise you're just an ass

  • OgaAt Dtop - 2013-10-02 13:07

    Why would any African want to send their children to an Afrikaans school? If you do that don't complain when your kids are treated like dirt.English is the number one language in the world and should the be main language of instruction in all schools.

      Rocky Bell - 2013-10-02 13:11

      Agghhhhh go and jump in the the article and then make comments. Chuck me Farlie~!

      Phillip Kaptein Meyer - 2013-10-02 13:12

      So way would kids that goes to Afrikaans school be treated as dirt?

      Phillip Kaptein Meyer - 2013-10-02 13:12

      So way would kids that goes to Afrikaans school be treated as dirt?

      OgaAt Dtop - 2013-10-02 13:13

      Who cares what Afriforum thinks? If they want to retain their Afrikaans only school ,let them retain it.It is their children who will suffer in future when they can't compete with their pairs elsewhere because they don't understand English language.Even the South Koreans ,Chinese and the Japanese are rapidly teaching their children English language because they now realize the benefits of understanding the language. Let the Afrikaners remain ignorant ,it is to their own detriment not ours.The Government should rather focus on strengthening the English schools in the country.

      Willa Prinsloo - 2013-10-02 13:21

      I was educated at an Afrikaans school and have an adequate comprehension of English, as the language is taught at Afrikaans schools. Your assumption that children taught at Afrikaans schools won't be able to understand English is laughable.

      Petro Jahnel - 2013-10-02 13:26

      First of all, not all Africans are black, so if that who you are referring to then SAY SO! Any child can go to any school if they are there to learn and grow. If they respect the rules of the school, they will be accepted, and this goes for Afrikaans schools as well. Having said that, I do agree with Dr Jansen that English should be the medium used in all schools. No way can this country afford to have specific language schools for each of the 11 official languages. And in the workplace, English is the medium most used. If you can't speak proper English, you cannot excel in most fields. I am proudly Afrikaans, yet I am planning to send my son to an English school, preferably private if I can afford it. The focus of the Education department should be on the quality of education and not the language used.

      Mc Apple - 2013-10-02 13:29

      @ OgaAt Dtop: As unpopular as your sentiments are I agree. I myself am Afrikaans and I love my mother tong but I preferred to study in English. The terminology just makes more sense and interacting on common ground makes everything much simpler. Currently I access servers in France, Germany, Holland and in China. These servers are populated by young people mostly between the ages of 14 and 25 and they all speak English. Yes they do converse in their native tong but the common ground is in English and overwhelmingly so whether we like it or not. We live in a global village and we have to compete there. P.S. Go to a local Afrikaans primary school. You’ll be surprised how many black kids you will find there. I think it’s got less to do with language and more to do with quality.

      Vark Nek - 2013-10-02 13:30

      @OgaAt Dtop: It is a scientific fact that education, especially at primary level, is best in ones mother tongue. The Chinese, Japanese, et al, is smart in learning English because this mixed language is the most common. Ditto when it comes to Swahili in Africa. Will all these new English speakers forfeit their mother tongue and customs? That I doubt very much. Ask any billingual or multilingual how it enriches your mind and how it opens ones world. Don't let your dislike for Afrikaans spoil the limits of where your intellect can/could take you.

      Marie Slabbert - 2013-10-02 13:30

      You know, you really shows your ignorance with your comments. For your information, when SA schools were mostly taught in Afrikaans in the past, our students were in such high demand overseas and in South Africa itself, we rivaled the best in the world in many areas like medicine (hart transplants) and our engineers invented many internationally recognised items. Generalisations is the hallmark of a lazy brain.

      Phillip Kaptein Meyer - 2013-10-02 13:31

      @ OgaAt Dtop still not answered my question about why children that goes to a Afrikaans school will be treated as dirty?

      OgaAt Dtop - 2013-10-02 13:47

      @Rocky Bell - I still know a couple of Laerskool where Afrikaans is the main language of instruction.Even the Afrikaans school that teach in English language still require students to learn Afrikaans. @Phillip Kaptein Meyer - I speak from personal experience something you would not have a clue about. @Willa Prinsloo - Read my reply to Rocky Bell @Petro Jahnel - I agree that not all Africans are black because there is no such thing as black or white.We have Africans and Caucasians.That being said i agree with the rest of your comment.I wouldn't waste money on private schools though ,they are way over rated.Spend your money rather on getting a private tutor to teach your children after school.That is what i did and it worked wonders in my children's lives.Nothing like concentrated attention from a teacher to a student. @Mc Apple - Most of the time it is not because of quality but because of availability. In quite a number of upmarket suburbs of SA it not easy to find a school that is not an Afrikaans school.There was a time i was looking for schools in my neighborhood and all six schools closest to us were Afrikaans schools,luckily one of them taught the children in English Language though Afrikaans was still a required subject.

      Vaal Koos - 2013-10-02 13:56

      As soon as education becomes too much for you ,you blame the langauge.

      OgaAt Dtop - 2013-10-02 13:58

      @Vark Nek - FYI i don't dislike Afrikaans ,i just have no need for the language. I am barely able to understand my own mother tongue talkless of learning another. Secondly i disagree that education is best at primary level in ones mother tongue. Those scientist who said that need to go back to the drawing board because it is an epic lie.Africans are excelling and beating native students in western universities just by being instructed in English language. @Marie Slabbert - All you have said is hearsay and please don't mention heart surgery ,we all know the African who was the lab assistant invented heart surgery. Hollywood even made a movie to that effect.The notable Africans who are working in big western companies come from west Africa and east Africa and that is a fact. Go and check the International examinations scores from last year ,most of the top student were Africans from west Africa, Northern Africa and east Africa.All of them were were educated in English Language.The inventors who are inventing new things on the continent are from west Africa and East Africa.

      Rocky Bell - 2013-10-02 14:04

      “@Rocky Bell - I still know a couple of Laerskool where Afrikaans is the main language of instruction.Even the Afrikaans school that teach in English language still require students to learn Afrikaans.” ............and your point????

      Petro Jahnel - 2013-10-02 14:05

      no you are wrong, we have Black Africans, White Africans, Coloured Africans etc etc etc....we were all born in Africa and that makes us all Africans, and as soon as this Nation starts to understand that, racism will start to disappear...

      Phillip Kaptein Meyer - 2013-10-02 14:09

      @ OgaAt Dtop still not answered my question about why children that goes to a Afrikaans school will be treated as dirty?

      Leroy Reynolds - 2013-10-02 14:14

      I don't think the youth understand the impact the internet has had on education. How nice it is to be able to Google any questions you have, you can learn how to do anything. Language does not make you smarter, it makes you more proficient at communication.

      Phillip Kaptein Meyer - 2013-10-02 14:15

      @ OgaAt Dtop still not answered my question about why children that goes to a Afrikaans school will be treated as dirty?

      OgaAt Dtop - 2013-10-02 14:17

      @Petro Jahnel - It is the "colorization" of people that breeds racism as human beings seen as hues. I was born and raised in Nigeria,i grew up amongst Indians ,Africans,Half-caste and Caucasians. In Nigeria there is no white or black man that is why you won't find racists in Nigeria or west Africa.Nigerian Caucasians are mostly descendants of British and American folks but they refer to themselves as Nigerian Caucasians not white Africans.People are referred to according to their ethnicities not according to the perceived color of their skin. In the USA ,Colored means Africans but in SA Colored means Half-caste.You see how it becomes derogatory in nature.There is no such thing as a white African or Black man. Terms like African Caucasian ,South African Caucasian or African Indian make more sense.

      Babs Putar - 2013-10-02 14:42

      I fully agree. It is your democratic right to send your kids to whichever school you want them to attend. Just stop moaning

      sxp - 2013-10-02 14:55

      Several black kids attend our Afrikaans school and with one reason: Their parents know that these kids will get a great education by great teachers. Funny enough, those who come and want to be taught in English for some reason are always the troublemakers and troublemakers are not treated with kid gloves in Afrikaans schools or communities and with good reason.

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-10-02 13:20

    Aren't Afrikaans schools multi lingual?. When I went to school, never mind what century,I attended an Afrikaans school and we had English as a second language. Surely it is still taught now a days.

      Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-10-02 13:37

      Jacqui said, geez, three thumbs down. Some people are dew drops.

      Thembeka Bobo - 2013-10-02 13:46

      Yes Jacqui Afrikaans schools are multilingual. My own observation though is that the Afrikaans only schools have one or two black kids and the English schools have a much more. What then happens is that the white kids from the English schools seem to be more liberated and see black kids as equals. They respect one another and they know that the fact that they are white does not make them better than the black kids because even in class the black kids get better marks than their white counterparts. This is due to the good white teachers at the school and parent participation which levels the play field. These kids are the rainbow nation that Mandela was referred to not us. Unfortunately there are one in a million kids like that that attended Afrikaans schools. I must also point out that the kids do not have the same prejudices that we have but what we do wrong is to drill our prejudices onto our kids minds. I have also notice that between nursery school and grade3/4, kids come home with birthday invites from different races that they are with in class but come grade 4/5, most invites would be from their own kind. Which shows that now kids are being aware of their skin colour and where does this come from suddenly? Us parents. No matter how you choose to look at it, it is a fact that SA is far from healing. Read at the racist comments on News 24, we fail to be objective and look at the facts because of our past. At the work place the treatment differs based on your skin colour.

  • Rob Martin - 2013-10-02 13:20

    English should be a common denominator given that this country has eleven official languages....with that said English, Afrikaans and an ethnic language should be compulsory in schools, when we get into business English is the norm not to forget that Cantonese is looming as we look to the East for business, so what if there is an exclusive Afrikaans school... are we now going to point fingers at the German school?

  • Linds Ron-House - 2013-10-02 13:20

    The Prof. makes the wrong assumption that vernacular instruction is always poor. This is not necessarily true.

      Rocky Bell - 2013-10-02 13:27

      Fully agree.

      Adriano Rodrigues - 2013-10-02 13:40

      The Professor speaks of his experience and research. Prove him wrong then.

      Linds Ron-House - 2013-10-02 14:06

      @Adriano, remember that Afrikaans is also vernacular. We have a secretariat function at the office. My experience is that black people who went to township and rural schools write far better quality minutes compare to the younger guys who went to the model c schools. The latter can speak fluent English because they were instructed in English from grade 1 but their writing skills are very poor. The former were instructed in vernacular until grade 4.

      Rocky Bell - 2013-10-02 14:06

      The prof has become a pleeeeeezer! It is politically correct for him to make such ridiculous statements

  • WE Werner - 2013-10-02 13:34

    Trots Afrikaans

  • Rocky Bell - 2013-10-02 13:34

    Dear Prof Jansen. Your comments are totally out of context and, to say the least, disrespectful to the Afrikaner who played a major role in establishing education in South Africa. Remember your own article on the education crisis in South Africa quoting Mamphela Ramphele: Seven costly mistakes Jonathan Jansen | 05 April, 2012 05:42 Mamphela Ramphele said education was better under apartheid than it is today and she wasn’t the only one to make such a comment.

  • Ian McNaughton - 2013-10-02 13:43

    If Jansen feels that mother tongue education is poorly taught then why single out Afrikaans, which is the one indigenous language that is not poorly taught - the Matric results speak for themselves. HuH??

  • Colleen Erasmus - 2013-10-02 13:44

    They must do like they do in some of the eastern countries, you rape chop off the penis, you steal, chop off your hands, you murder, you get the death sentence.

      Mc Apple - 2013-10-02 13:53

      So what happens when you speak English?

      Julie Elisabeth Craytor - 2013-10-02 14:07

      what does that have to do with the article??

      Julie Elisabeth Craytor - 2013-10-02 14:08

      Copy and paste your comment on the Netto will make better sense i think...

      Anuschka Klusmann - 2013-10-02 15:48

      yah what happens when you speak English? this you have to answer... please enlighten us #wantEkDinkJysNidioot#

  • Ren - 2013-10-02 13:47

    Lol , I have about 60 labourers work

  • Ren - 2013-10-02 13:48

    For me they have a "matric" and can't speak English at all? #just saying and they matriculated like a year or two ago!

  • Phillip Burger - 2013-10-02 13:52

    It astonishes me that somebody of Prof Janssens stature can make this kind of comment which he should know might be misinterpreted by members of this diverse community. Afrikaans people educated their children in Afrikaans schools and Afrikaans universities for years and years, well knowing that an inability in the use of the English language will limit their parameters in the international business world. Language is a medium in which learners should excel themselves in gaining knowledge of their specific fields and people of this country should stop politicising everything that has to do with the Afrikaans language and Afrikaans white people. I believe most people have moved on, with the exception of those groups and individuals who prefer to hide their inabilities, academically and otherwise, behind an ideology that has died some twenty years ago (apartheid). WAKE UP AND LEARN TO DO SOMETHING IN ANY LANGUAGE AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE WELLBEING OF THIS NATION. WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF YOUR WHINING AND INABILITY TO COPE WITH TODAY'S WORLD AND ITS CHALLENGES.

  • Christelle Butler-Graham - 2013-10-02 13:52

    Young people are not supposed to be the victims of the past - and not supposed to heal "past rifts" That's the big problem - young people are being burdened with the past by the past and forever harping on the same issues creates rifts.

      Thando Ramncwana - 2013-10-02 14:28

      They shouldnt be victims but they can be beneficiaries??......most white families are well off than their black counterparts.....easy for you when you are priviledged not to be a "victims"......FYI most of us black youth are victims whether we like it or not!

  • Billy Bob - 2013-10-02 13:55

    klink vir my omtrent reg. english is the most logical choice. just make english a compulsory language. private schools that teach in a mother tongue, should be allowed to. they can provide all the funding for it. as long as english is a subject for every student, everyone will have a medium to communicate by. well its either that or manderin.. or spanish... lol. the point is, join the global communication..

      WE Werner - 2013-10-02 14:05

      I agree , fund it ourself ,and set own standards

      Al Loots - 2013-10-02 14:10

      What and then destroy my language for the sake of convenience. Let them go to English institutions then. No one forces whom ever to learn my language. As jy nie daarvan hou nie, loop vrek dan.

  • Richard - 2013-10-02 13:55

    I expect to get many thumbs down but at some point the language thing must be sorted. Afrikaans is a minority language like many of the black languages. Everybody wants to be addressed in their own language but one cannot educate people in 11 languages and English is certainly the language that creates a bridge between all the people and if taught from Grade 1 should not be a problem to anybody. Obviously the Afrikaans people will not like this but so then neither will many other language speaking people. One has to simply find a common denominator which I believe is English.

      Al Loots - 2013-10-02 14:06

      Let them go to English institutions then.

      Rocky Bell - 2013-10-02 14:14

      Afrikaans 'n minority language?? You not serious??. It is the fourth most spoken language in South Africa!! (to remind you: there are 50 million people in South Africa)

      sxp - 2013-10-02 15:03

      We do not need this common denominator at school level. We simply need schools that cater for each language group. At uni level it might be different, but I am not convinced of that either.

  • Impi Masondo - 2013-10-02 14:00

    they cannot use language of the oppresser we must have the language of the people

      Al Loots - 2013-10-02 14:05

      Then go to a school or university that speaks the language of the English oppressor and leave us Afrikaners alone.

      Mc Apple - 2013-10-02 14:20


      Rocky Bell - 2013-10-02 14:28

      By the way: The English established Apartheid In South Africa– English is in actual fact the language of the oppressor: Read Richard Dowden article to get the real facts

      sxp - 2013-10-02 15:04

      The real oppressor has and is still the English.

  • Willem De Jager - 2013-10-02 14:08

    No social sphere is inaccessible to an Afrikaans child only by virtue of operating in English, whether it be entertainment, commerce, academics or politics. English 'First Additional Language' as taught in Afrikaans schools is much more akin to native language education than English 'Foreign Language' as taught in Japanese schools, for example. No illusion exists among Afrikaners as to the benefits of proficiency in English. Disallowing schools to maintain an Afrikaans ethos where the vast majority of students are native Afrikaans speakers cannot be justified as a measure of internationalisation; we can speak English well enough to navigate the global scene, increasingly populated by non-native speakers. Why hide behind ideology when the attack on Afrikaans is so clear, so transparent, so cowardly.

      Al Loots - 2013-10-02 14:21

      B R A V O ! ! ! HOOR HOOR !!!

      Rocky Bell - 2013-10-02 14:32

      Exactly !! It says it all

      Charles Gregory - 2013-10-02 14:39

      Mens kan ni help behalwe om te wonder of het die man nie verskuilde agendas nie miskien politieke aspirasies? Maar jy is 100 perc reg

  • Christine Kleyn - 2013-10-02 14:09

    I can and WILL back this fully!! Thank God progress is being made! I have no problem with Afrikaans as I grew up in an Afr home, but I went to an all Afrikaans school and seeing all my extra work and effort to adapt to higher grade English tuition in varsity my parents thankfully decided to save my siblings the pain and putting them in English schools. Afrikaans can still be your language at home, but honestly unless you want to live the rest of your life working in Pretoria or Bloem, it's not going to cut it! My generation wants to go out in the world, become execs in big NYC or UK offices and we will NEVER be taken seriously by the international community when we "talk engels like dis". ALL of my peers from (a reputable)school have below average English communication skills. I had to stop speaking afrikaans altogether for a while to hone my English language skills as mother-tongue education placed too many limitations on me. Without it I'd just be another Afrikaans girl with her future limited to SA. Not all students will be able to adapt the way I did and I think it's important to prepare all people for th world out there!!! English is the UNIVERSAL language, grow up and get over it!

      Al Loots - 2013-10-02 14:16

      Spaar ons jou Judise god asseblief. Why didn't you complete school on higher grade English then. I could read volumes in English before I even attended high school, in Afrikaans. That was your parents mistake then. Nie jou taal nie. Today I speak English on such a level even the English speaking believe I'm either foreign or English. As jou ouers bietjie gesukkel het met Engels is dit weereens nie jou taal wat die probleem is nie, dit was jou ouers se onvermoe om die Engelse taal te gebruik.

      Petro Jahnel - 2013-10-02 14:16

      Spot on sister!! ;-)

      Logic Dictates - 2013-10-02 15:10

      loots i agree. I studied english lit. , political science , and law and i never had to 'adapt'. I grew up in an Afrikaans household , and my education was in afrikaans. My English was standard grade . My brother received the same education as i did and ALL his clients are British , and the always take him as a brit. Maybe she should blame her parents for not taking the time to school her at home instead of the afrikaans schools. ' coz jis hey , me and my boet can like to be speaking da rooi taal very deliciously hey , especially when i are wearing my jean pant. ja swaer

      Anuschka Klusmann - 2013-10-02 15:47

      yah MR LOOTS EN LOGIC dankie tog daar is mense soos julle hier want hierdie ander bobbejane is so onbevoeg hulle glo die stront wat hulle praat

  • Breinlekkasie - 2013-10-02 14:09

    I thought it was only the English speaking nations who have a problem learning as second language or being educated in a different language.

  • Bob Ski - 2013-10-02 14:14

    The Prof is right, overcrowding is rife in english medium schools, the afrikaans medium schools can relieve some of the pressure if they change their language policy. The change must happen.

      Charles Gregory - 2013-10-02 14:29

      How about this, goverment starts doing what the promise and stop stealing money and build more schools then everyone can be happy

      Al Loots - 2013-10-02 14:43

      Stop breeding like rats then.

      sxp - 2013-10-02 15:05

      Buldust, the regime should simply provide more English schools.

  • Al Loots - 2013-10-02 14:19

    The irony here is that even with English as a medium kids ''matriculate'' and can barely speak the language. Sort out this bantu education OBE and leave my language alone.

  • Yonela Ndoda - 2013-10-02 14:22


      Rocky Bell - 2013-10-02 14:42

      .......exactly the feeling I'm getting!

  • John Wilson - 2013-10-02 14:25

    Truth be told, Afrikaans already got a head-start, while riding the wave of apartheid. It becomes difficult to even out the planes for all the other languages to flourish in the same way that Afrikaans is. I think this is a very difficult issue because South Africa is all about equality. It is reasonably possibly true that white people who are in Afrikaans medium schools MAY, find it difficult to embrace transformation because their schools (intentionally or unintentionally) keeps them thinking of their exclusivity as a supreme thing. But again, there are other factors that could contribute to latter. Can we really apportion a big chunk of blame on language in schools??? We can thank the Prof for raising the issue, it needs more study...

      Al Loots - 2013-10-02 14:36

      So. Destroying my language is going to level the playing fields? First they push out Afrikaners from government and other institutions, then they apply AA, effectively creating a situation where you become unemployable and then you wish to marginalise us even more. Go have a ''study'' on how many white Afrikaner squatter camps and the amount of now destitute Afrikaners there are and then talk about language. There are much bigger issues.

      Charles Gregory - 2013-10-02 14:46

      What I don't understand is what advantage does a afr school give us? Rather go and look at the teachers of other schools I stayed in eastern cape mthata on pay days schools are not operating other groups are striking afr schools not its not the language its the people?

      Willem De Jager - 2013-10-02 14:50

      A bit like the head-start English got over centuries of colonialism and imperialism, slavery and exploitation, John? Or not quite at on that scale you reckon?

  • Joey Witlouw - 2013-10-02 14:28

    Wise words Prof. One Nation, one teaching language as medium. This is the only solution for the educational nightmare in our country.

      Al Loots - 2013-10-02 15:43

      Education is a catastrophy because of OBE and blatant mismanagement. Go force your language on the Brits, who can barely pronounce proper English in their own country. Gatvol vir souties.

      Joey Witlouw - 2013-10-02 16:12

      You should embrace change - the fact of the matter is that English(as language medium) is the one language that will empower you to communicate in every country accross the world. Think - Think BIG, See the Big Picture ! Why do we have to print books and educational material in 11 languages? This is stupid and just as bad as OBE and mismanagement of funds? I have nothing against Akrikaans - ek het Afrikaans met my moedersmelk but my kids are educated in English. My choice !!!

  • Avril Albasini Andre Vd Merwe - 2013-10-02 14:39

    I am an African, born and bred in Africa. My home language is Afrikaans, and therefore I am an Afrikaner. I am proud to be African and an Afrikaner. I speak English, and consider myself to be nearly 100% conversant in English. I studied using English because terminology in my field of work is mostly derived from the English language. It is just common sense. Schools should have a PRIMARY teaching language based on the geographic/location of the school. So if English is the medium, so be it, or Afrikaans, or Zulu, Xhosa, etc. It would be wise to learn a SECONDARY language as well, whatever the preference. Personal experience says that English in schools and universities should probably be considered as a PRIMARY language in South Africa simply because it is used so much internationally, learning materials (books, etc. is more common in English...). However, one's home language is just as important, no matter what it is. Cultures grew around language. But don't tell me that Afrikaans is the cause of racism, or apartheid, or xenophobia...Prof. Jansen, GO FAAARK YOURSELF!!!!

  • Zolisa Dlokovu - 2013-10-02 14:43

    Prof. Jansen's argument does not make sense. Africa is the only continent in the world where foreign language is used as medium of instruction. Afrikaans speaking people have been using their mother toungue for many years and their education is internationally recognised.

      sxp - 2013-10-02 15:06

      You at least see this whole thing logically.

  • Ivan Matshaba - 2013-10-02 14:45

    Afrikaans in universities does create a form of segregation and condones racism...look at stellenbosch and tuks, u r bound to encounter a level of racism. I have attended at both varsities so I know what I am talking about.

      Charles Gregory - 2013-10-02 14:49

      What is your language?

      Ivan Matshaba - 2013-10-02 15:00

      I speak Sotho but my academic home language has always been english and afrikaans my 1st additional. Why?

      Charles Gregory - 2013-10-02 15:04

      Why is there no sotho higher education instatutions? We are all sheep the goverment inabilaty to provide things like this is making us here on the ground to fight each other and for what, racism has got nothing to do with a language or a univercity its your upbringing

      sxp - 2013-10-02 15:07

      Segregation is not an issue. Breaking the rights of others to use and be taught in their own language is however a huge issue. What is wrong with having institutions that cater for each language group? Nothing.

      Al Loots - 2013-10-02 15:24

      Once again, only whites and specifically Afrikaners can and is racist. Build your own damn university and adopt your choice of language, then you are rid of all these racists. Don't forget to wipe your race tinted glasses.

      Ivan Matshaba - 2013-10-02 15:27

      I agree with u to a certain extend but language is a barrier for forming friendships and so on. It creates factionalism, when my afrikaans boiz have a braai they compromise for me and all the other guyz who knw english only by speaking english. Most people would agree that if u cant speak afrikaans well and u are around people who speak afrikaans all the time...u would feel like u dont belong. So how are we supposed to be one nation when langauge differences cause division?

      Al Loots - 2013-10-02 15:36

      So what? Do you hear us crying about Zulu or Xhosa. Most if not all Afrikaners can speak English. Does that make us seek out English friends. Friendships formate naturally based on many factors of which culture plays a big role. Social engineering does not work. Did you not learn anything from apartheid?

      Ivan Matshaba - 2013-10-02 15:47

      Each ethnic group has its own group of racists thats a fact. I am trying to outline factors, caused by cultural differences, that are stopping this from progressing as one people. The idea of getting engineering books(for example) in my language is improbable and thus not even worth considering. Lets work with what we have on hand...things that promote a unified nation and globalisation...english being a common language for all would be a good start ryt?!

  • sxp - 2013-10-02 14:51

    Even in a careful argument huge danger and evil can be found. Reconciliation is something that has nothing to do with language at all, barring off-course to those with political agenda's. I have always been of the opinion that Jansen has such agendas and now I am even more sure. Afrikaans Kovsie students should run him off their turf.

      Charles Gregory - 2013-10-02 14:53


  • Charles Gregory - 2013-10-02 15:00

    This ou makes me think back to ou 'snorre' x springbok politician

  • Zolisa Dlokovu - 2013-10-02 15:09

    Prof Jansen's argument does not make sense.It comes at a time when the nation is debating the issue of introducing one african language in all public schools. The Afrikaners have been using Afrikaans as medium of instruction for many years and their education is internationally recognised

      Avril Albasini Andre Vd Merwe - 2013-10-02 15:26

      So 'n bek moet JAM kry!!! Thanks Zolisa!

      Sgungu Matje - 2013-10-02 15:38

      yes Zolisa uhlakaniphile...(ubuze kahle unyoko awyena umZulu.)

      Solo Mathe - 2013-10-02 15:41

      Zo... You are the one who's not making any sense! And I think I know why...

      Solo Mathe - 2013-10-02 15:47

      Zo... You are the one who's not making any sense! And I think I know why...

  • Solo Mathe - 2013-10-02 15:25

    There should never be afrikaans schools, period! hopefully they will all be converted to english schools...soon...

      Solo Mathe - 2013-10-02 15:38

      I guess its gonna freeze over very soon. You are not special, afrikaans is just another SA language.

  • Sgungu Matje - 2013-10-02 15:42

    it doesn't matter wat u speak.get the paper and stand tall.those Arab people dnt care were u frm as long they making the not even interested in what you have to say.

  • Hemlock - 2013-10-02 15:44

    What a crock of sh*t.......!!!!!!

  • Reven BlackHawk Baloyi - 2013-10-02 15:45

    Afrikaans appartheid is the same things we supposed to dump altogether pre 1994 English is the one

  • Bones Facts - 2013-10-02 15:56

    For the first time i agree with Afri-Forum.

  • Bones Facts - 2013-10-02 15:56

    For the first time i agree with Afri-Forum.

  • Robbie Crouch - 2013-10-02 15:57

    The Volksklad has always been able to twist his words to sell copy unfortunately...

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