Mikro: all quiet on the language front

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Sun Jul 17 19:26:14 UTC 2005

>>From the Weekend Argus

Mikro: all quiet on the language front
By Theresa Smith

Threats of action against Laerskool Mikro in Kuils River, which has been
embroiled in a row over its language policy, have dissipated and pupils
can look forward to a quiet start to the third term on Monday. The
provincial education department has decided not to challenge the Supreme
Court of Appeals judgment in favour of the school's Afrikaans medium
policy and the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) has decided not
to march on the school.

The Supreme Court of Appeals last month upheld a Cape High Court judgment
that the school could not compelled to teach English-speaking pupils in
English. The department had until next week to seek leave to appeal in the
Constitutional Court, but provincial education minister Cameron Dugmore
announced on Friday that it would not pursue the matter any further in the

He said several legal opinions had been sought on the possible outcome and
it was decided that the department could not be guaranteed success. "We
believe the decision we've come to is in the best interest of the
children," said Dugmore. Cosas national leadership earlier this week
called for rolling mass action in protest against the judgment. The
organisation condemned the school governing body's decision to remain an
Afrikaans medium school as a way of limiting access for black children.

However, Western Cape provincial secretary Andiswa Mxhadi said on Friday
that they had decided not to organise a march for the moment. Governing
body chairman Erhard Wolf was elated by the department's decision not to
go to the Constitutional Court, describing the news as "fantastic". He
said school management would meet department officials to discuss what
should happen to the 21 English-speaking children at the centre of the

"We will not necessarily take a hardline approach on this. We will try to
be reasonable. The bottom line is we want to do what is right for the
children," said Wolf. Although they will start the third term at Mikro,
the department, the school and their parents have to decide whether to
move them to another school before the beginning of next year.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Cape Argus on July
16, 2005

Published on the Web by IOL on 2005-07-16 11:46:00

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