South Africa: New teaching policy for Maties

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Tue Feb 24 19:35:53 UTC 2009

New teaching policy for Maties
24/02/2009 08:40  - (SA)

Jackie Pienaar-Brink, Die Burger

Stellenbosch - A new teaching model to implement Stellenbosch
University's language policy was approved at a special council meeting
over the weekend. This means the four biggest faculties will implement
parallel-medium teaching (PMT) - as opposed to the present system of
dual-medium teaching (T option) - in the first year of teaching. The
model for smaller faculties like Health Sciences and Law is still to
be discussed. Should PMT (separate streams for Afrikaans and English)
prove to be unsustainable in the smaller faculties due to cost
considerations or low student numbers, the T option will be
considered, said Mohamed Shaikh, senior director: Communication and

The three biggest faculties (Economic and Management Sciences, Natural
Sciences and AgriSciences) will implement the new teaching model in
2010. This means four faculties (including Engineering) will be
offering PMT in the first study year in 2010. Provision has been made
for the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences to plan the
implementation of PMT in the first year for 2011, which will probably
involve the realignment of the curriculum.

University can reposition itself

Prof Russel Botman, the university's rector, said Stellenbosch wants
to be a university where students can obtain their undergraduate
qualifications in the language of their choice - be it Afrikaans or
English. "With these unanimous council decisions the University can
now reposition itself," Botman said. Prof Christo Viljoen, former
vice-rector: operations and at present vice-president of the
convocation, said it meant students in these four faculties can study
in Afrikaans or English, provided they are also exposed to the other

A subcommittee must still determine the guarantees and parameters for
the implementation of the policy. One of the guarantees will have to
be a minimum exposure to Afrikaans at undergraduate level, for
example. Viljoen emphasised that this was not a new language policy,
but the practical implementation of the language policy and language
plan that had been accepted in 2002 and adapted in 2008.

- Die Burger,,2-7-1442_2475024,00.html

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