[lg policy] UNISA court ruling not in line with development of language rights – AfriForum

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Fri Apr 27 10:31:18 EDT 2018

UNISA court ruling not in line with development of language rights –
Marelie Greeff |
26 April 2018
Organisation says govt continuing to rush head along on a monolingual path

*Court ruling on Unisa’s language policy not aligned with language rights

*26 April 2018*

It is with disappointment that AfriForum takes note of the High Court’s
judgement this morning in AfriForum’s case against the monolingual English
language policy of the University of South Africa (Unisa). The Court has
ruled in favour of this policy.

According to Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, the verdict is not in
line with developments in the field of language rights currently taking
place nationally and internationally. “Worldwide there is an increasing
need for the promotion of more mother languages and the development of
multilingual environments within which greater social cohesion and better
academic achievements are attained. However, South African government
departments and most universities unfortunately do not take note of this,
but continue rushing ahead along a monolingual path.”

According to Bailey, the Draft Revised Language Policy for Higher Education
recently published for public comment, displays an encouraging
understanding of the complexity of the language situation in South Africa
and the need for the use of more languages for teaching and administration
purposes at universities. Furthermore, research by independent South
African experts in the field of languages, including the late Prof. Neville
Alexander, as well as Proff. Elirea Bornman, Theo du Plessis, Russell
Kaschula, Dr Monwabisi Ralarala, Ms Zakeera Docrat and international
experts such as Proff. Fernand de Varennes, Rosemary Salomone and László
Marácz clearly prove the social and economic benefits of multilingualism.
There are also legal actions that take place or are being planned in, inter
alia, the Netherlands and Italy to prevent the unbridled Anglicisation of
tertiary education institutions.

“South African institutions should start looking beyond ideological
considerations and rather concentrate on expanding the language rights of
all students, including Afrikaans speakers, instead of creating a sham of
equality in monolingual institutions via the violation of language rights,”
adds Bailey.

AfriForum’s legal team will study the statement in detail before deciding
on an application for appeal.

*Issued by Marelie Greeff, AfriForum, 26 April 2018*


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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