[lg policy] South Africa: English at Maties 'a win for Cecil John'

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Mon Nov 23 16:55:31 UTC 2015

English at Maties 'a win for Cecil John'
Shanaaz Eggington | 23 November, 2015 00:10
Open Stellenbosch presented an alternative language policy to the rector's
management team this week. File photo
*Image by:* Gallo Images / Beeld / Leanne Stander
A campaign by Stellenbosch University students to get English introduced as
the primary language of teaching, communication and administration has
attracted widespread support but some say it is a "slap in the face for
indigenous languages".

Last week 226 academics, other employees and the Students' Representative
Council endorsed the proposal by the rector's management team that English
become the lingua franca of the university.

But the head of the National Professional Teachers' Organisation, Basil
Manuel, said: "It is a strange decision, seeing that Stellenbosch
University is in a province that is overwhelmingly Afrikaans and the
language has already evolved to be a full science language. This decision
does not gel with the noise made about the importance of [mother tongue
instruction] in our primary schools.

"This means that those schools in which Afrikaans is taught will now also
have to change to English."

Prominent Afrikaans activist Marietha Channel, who is a former board member
of the Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees, said: "English is the most
dominant relic of colonialism. I cannot understand why anyone would want
this. This is setting us back 100 years."

Advocate for a separatist Afrikaaner state Dan Roodt said: "No one should
be forced to study in English, the violent tongue of Rhodes, Milner and
Kitchener that has always held itself aloof from South Africa."

Open Stellenbosch presented an alternative language policy to the rector's
management team this week.

Open Stellenbosch demands, among other things, that the primary medium of
instruction be English and that teaching support be provided in other
official languages.

Its proposals are likely to be discussed when the university council meets
on November30. Some council members have said they will not support the
proposal that English be the main language of instruction.*Additional
reporting @BDlive*


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