Constitutional Court’s ruling on Afrikaans a setback for mother-tongue language
The Constitutional Court’s ruling in favour of the University of the Free State’s new language policy, which determines that English will be the only language of instruction, is a tremendous setback for mother-tongue instruction as well as the development of indigenous languages in South Africa, says adv Anton Alberts, chairperson of the FF Plus.
According to adv Alberts, the ruling is lamentable seeing as one of the most basic human rights has been subordinated to what cosmetically seems politically correct.
“It is a great pity that mother-tongue instruction, as it is enshrined in the Constitution, is considered a stumbling block for racial relations and that the Constitutional Court blames the previous parallel language policy for racial segregation.
“The FF Plus is of the opinion that the ANC government has had the opportunity to build additional universities and implement measures so as to execute the Constitutional Court’s stipulation that everyone has the right to receive education in the official language of his or her choice for the past 23 years now.
“The ruling is also in contradiction with international law that promotes mother-tongue instruction and internal self-determination especially with regard to, amongst other things, language.
“In a country with eleven official languages, the mediums of instruction must rather be expanded to include more languages instead of languages being taken away and institutions becoming anglicised. Educational experts worldwide agree that mother-tongue instruction promotes academic performance.
“Social coherence will never be attained if people’s language rights are denied and if the integral building blocks that constitute their identity are taken away,” says adv Alberts.
Statement issued by Adv. Anton Alberts, FF Plus chairperson and parliamentary spokesperson: Higher Education, 29 December 2017