[lg policy] South Africa: Stellies language policy ‘concerning’: Democratic Alliance

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sun Nov 15 20:47:02 UTC 2015


 Stellies language policy ‘concerning’: DA
ANA
[image: Student gathering at ampitheatre. PIC: YouTube.]

Student gathering at ampitheatre. PIC: YouTube.
DA: “Students and academic staff with a wide variety of opinions surely
need to be consulted”

The Democratic Alliance on Saturday expressed concern at certain aspects of
Stellenbosch University’s proposed new language policy.

The DA believed in building inclusive campuses, where students were not
excluded on the basis of language or any other characteristic, DA
spokeswoman Belinda Bozzoli said in a statement.

“We further support the constitutional principle that every person has the
right to be taught in the official language of their choice, where
reasonably practicable.

“While the DA respects the autonomy of Stellenbosch University to make
decisions affecting its language policy, we have some concerns about the
proposed language policy, as outlined in the vice-chancellor’s recent
statement,” she said.

The change would see English made the primary language of instruction, and
this appeared to be in contravention of the constitutional principle that
every person had the right to be taught in the official language of their
choice, where reasonably practicable.

“It cannot be argued that teaching in Afrikaans is not ‘reasonably
practicable’. The constitutional rights of Afrikaans-speaking students,
therefore, need to be upheld while those of other students of different
backgrounds are also met. That is what inclusiveness means in a
multicultural society.”

So instead of jettisoning Afrikaans as the primary language of instruction,
ways should be found to ensure that both the principles of inclusivity and
language rights were upheld.

“Perhaps as a reflection of the haste with which this proposal has been put
forward, it is also of concern to us that the consultation process
undertaken thus far by the university appears to have been quite narrow,
and may not have taken all views into consideration,” Bozzoli said.

“We note, for example, that the South African Students’ Congress was
consulted, but the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation was not.
Students and academic staff with a wide variety of opinions surely need to
be consulted, including many whose views may not accord with those of any
political party or movement.

“We strongly recommend that the university uses the next stage of its
consultative process to significantly widen the pool of those consulted, to
include all students, student organisations, academics, and alumni, and to
ensure that all constitutional principles are duly adhered to,” she said.

http://www.citizen.co.za/866919/da-concerned-with-new-stellies-language-policy/


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