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Big changes are coming to SA schools in 2017 – starting with language policies

Big changes are coming to SA schools in 2017 – starting with language policies

The department of education has instructed two Afrikaans schools to change their language policies, following a landmark 2016 Constitutional Court decision which will limit school governing boards’ control over policies, admissions, fees and dress codes.

Pretoria-based Overkruin and Montana High Schools have issued urgent interdicts against Gauteng’s Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, following proposed changes to their language policies.

The two schools which currently teach in Afrikaans have reportedly been instructed by the Department of Education to accommodate more English speaking pupils.

With government schools opening for the new year, these are thought to be the first in a line of opening salvos as the Education Department plans to bring government schools around the country to be more in line with national interests as provided for by a recent Constitutional Court decision.

School governing boards and provincial education have often found themselves at loggerheads, leading to protracted and expensive litigation.

The Con Court decision handed down in FEDSAS v Member of the Executive Council for Education in 2016 hoped to alleviate this, with the court finding that provincial education departments would have the authority to exercise reasonable control over admissions and capacity in public schools.

The ruling emphasised that schools are public assets and must be used to ensure that all children are afforded access to education.

“[Public] schools are not rarefied spaces only for the bright, well-mannered and financially well-heeled learners. They are public assets which must advance not only the parochial interest of its immediate learners but may, by law, also be required to help achieve universal and non-discriminatory access to education,” the ruling said.

While it’s believed that the government will focus primarily on language and equality changes, other changes they could influence (which previously were solely presided over by school governing boards ) include:

  • The setting of compulsory fees,
  • Lease, burden or alter immovable public property,
  • Hiring additional teachers,
  • Permitting business activity on their premises,
  • Admissions criteria, and
  • Dress code.

Discriminatory policies at South African schools were thrust into the spotlight in 2016, when girls at Pretoria girls school protested hair policies which banned ‘natural’ hair. The protests drew the attention of the Gauteng department of education which, after an investigation, found the school’s policies to be intrinsically racist.

The school has since changed its hair policies, allowing for learners to wear their hair in what they deem their natural state.

Other investigations done by the education department have found that a number of schools hold discriminatory policies, which including penalising learners who speak African languages on campus.

In 2016, Lesufi stated that tackling schools on its racist and discriminatory policies would be a priority for his department in 2017.

Read: These are the 20 most expensive schools in South Africa in 2017

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  • RodneyVikens

    In other words. More apartheid rules coming soon in the name of white-only-racism. The racist heart of the ANC have blinded them that they now even confuse discipline for racism…..

    • MP3

      so true! they’ve confused discipline for racism.

    • RagingTiger

      Last time I checked English was a white language.

      • RodneyVikens

        The problem is that if the language was actually an issue I can understand. But this has nothing to do with language. There are Xhosa kids who are forced to go to Zulu Schools. Yet they will never allow them to school in Xhosa. If your School has a majority of Afrikaans people (white people are not the only Afrikaners) then why must the teach in English? Unfortunately these decisions are made by a privileged racist elite with apartheid mentality. But then again, education in general is a complete failure in SA no matter in what language it is.

      • Teresa Williams

        En sommer baie “colonial” ook.

  • NosySnoopy

    And that is why I hate ‘democracy’ and the ‘new SA’. There are no ‘building’ or ‘new’ just changing and doing away with things. Decolonization. Like I said before, this mindset will lead to more private schools, which will cause the public school to fall behind. This will cause a divide and lead to ‘privilege’. Why does history have to repeat itself?!

    • Stefan Buys

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Spot on.

    • MP3

      that’s why people should be careful what they wish for

    • Aristophanes

      Unfortunately I disagree. I know quite a few Afrikaans schools in the Western Cape where there are still places because there aren’t enough Afrikaans speaking students to fill them. This is very unfair, and basically a perpetuation of Apartheid, where that part of society was favoured over all others. I’ll never forget the Bluff Afrikaans schools that were showered with state-funded facilities while even the English speaking Durban schools got very little – and we were supposed to be ‘benefiting from Apartheid’ which sticks in the craw even today – to say nothing of course for the Indian and Black ones!

      When you went to Dirkie Uys Primary and saw something like three times the sports stuff your kids had it was a little irritating to say the least. So, seeing the same thing still happening today is not good. It’s about time the Afrikaners learnt to start sharing at school level, even if it means some teaching being done in the hated English?

      • Speaking as an Afrikaans person who took English First Language in school and perform most of my work in the English language I can state without reservation that the issue has nothing to do with race, hate, Apartheid, inequality or any other imagined evil to which you are referring.

        It has to do with the established, proven fact that children learn best in their home language, that Afrikaans speakers love their culture and prefer to retain it (a constitutional right), and doing so in a mixed medium environment is impractical and expensive. You can reference the unending saga at the University of Stellenbosch as an example of how futile this exercise is.

        Moreover, it is a travesty that English is used as the reference language, stunting the growth and development of other traditional languages, as well as creating an unhealthy learning environment for kids who speak traditional languages at home. Is there no respect for other cultures among the English? Worse yet, is there no respect among the so-called leaders of this country for their own cultures?

        Any schools that have an advantage now have it because the parents and teachers work together (paying through their noses and raising funds) to get there. Even with the advantage of the bygone era, without these efforts the schools would have falling to pieces in the past two decades.

        If the government can’t do its job and elevate schools in other areas, why kick Afrikaans speakers in the gonads and force them to impede their learners for the sake of face value equality?

        It only contributes to the brokenness of this country and it is a clear message by the powers that be that there is no place for the Afrikaans speaking community in this country. This is a grave mistake.

        • Aristophanes

          Have you ever been to Grey College in Bloem? It’s been dual medium for a long long time and never seemed to negatively affect the Afrikaans kids there.

          Nope, your response shows that there is still a dog-in-a-manger attitude among many of the Afrikaans community who use any excuse they can to avoid having to give away any of their privileges to non-Afrikaners.

          Sorry, but your argument doesn’t hold water.

          Oh and by-the-way, don’t try to heap blame on the English speakers. We’re such a small percentage that we really don’t count at all. It’s your hatred of everything English that is the problem, and it must really hurt that it is the lingua franca around the business world internationally and here.

          • Different to you, I don’t believe that growing up within one’s chosen cultural framework is an unneeded or undeserved privilege. Nor do I think it is justified to force a culture to distance itself from its language for what is potentially a long term destructive action. This is relevant for all speakers of local languages, of which Afrikaans is just one.

            It is this attitude of unfounded disdain held by individuals such as yourself that is truly the corrosive issue. Neither the majority of Afrikaans speakers, nor myself, have any issue with the English language, its native speakers or its wide use. In fact, we made extensive efforts to include it in our curricula from the get go, knowing that our economic well-being depends on it. But we never learned English instead of Afrikaans – the language was always an additional tool, like maths, and not a political-cultural directive.

            What the government is doing here is forcing English as the common language between non-English speaking learners from vastly different cultural backgrounds, which in turn creates a poor learning environment. English is the default because it is highly unlikely that schools will create plural-medium schools that will have classes in all of the first languages of a given region. In Gauteng this would include isiZulu, Sesotho, and Afrikaans. The impracticality of this would automatically lead to an Afrikaans/English dual medium which is entirely counterproductive, more so for the isiZulu and Sesothho kids who may not have had as much exposure to the English language.

            In South Africa this is not just a matter of lingua franca, nor a matter of population size – when a learning institution is forced to change its language policy for political reasons to the language that is not the home language of any of the kids, it becomes the epitome of systemic colonialism!

            And here is my final issue – why is it that the well-to-do English schools are somehow exempt from having to adopt a dual medium approach? Why aren’t they making room for the Zulus and Sothos by giving them tuition in their own language? Methinks there are double standards afoot…

            For a person whom I presume professes to hold dear the rights and freedoms of other people, you sure use the word “hate” liberally without any real proof that it is indeed the case. Perhaps you should do some introspection on the amount of hate you hold in your own heart, and question the real reasons behind it.

          • Aristophanes

            It is indefensible when there are empty desks at schools and a huge amount of children crying out for education.

          • SpY

            Ok, but what if when we fill the desks the empty one is the teacher’s?

          • Aristophanes

            He or she will sit there splitting hairs, probably.

          • Jo

            Again your story is based on hearsay. Only some schools in rural areas have very few empty rooms. Most have classrooms with excess capacity. But in metropolitan schools, all classrooms, even in afrikaans medium schools, are filled to capacity, but mostly filled over their capacity. I have the figures to prove it. National education also forces schools to have 45 pupils per classroom, even though classrooms were designed for 35 pupils, and in the old SA only for 30 pupils per room. These same old design schools are also forced to squeeze 45 pupils in a room. Very unhealthy, very cramped.

          • Aristophanes

            Hearsay? Maybe an article from this same website a year and a half ago might shed some light on the story:

            https://businesstech co za/news/government/95103/whites-to-blame-for-overcrowded-schools-gauteng-mec/

            A telling quote from it is as follows:

            “The EFF reportedly highlighted that Afrikaans schools continued to outnumber English schools even in areas where most pupils were English speaking.”

            Now fair enough, I cherry-picked that one because I really don’t have too much time to spend on someone who is obviously trying to intimidate me with ‘facts’. And I also don’t like the EFF, but the saying ‘there’s no smoke without fire’ comes to mind so I feel justified in using it.

            But, hey, you go on believing whatever post-truth stuff you like, I haven’t the time or energy to do any more. And anyway I’ve achieved what I set out to do which is highlight the bulldust churned out to justify the unjustifiable.

          • Rach

            You are missing the point: the two schools in question just happen to be Afrikaans and they are chock a block full. They are nog against taking kids in of other races but there is nooooooo space. What is so difficult to understand and yes: I’m born and bred Afrikaans my parents thought it advantageous that we attend English schools. And I stand on my right to be Afrikaans!!!!

          • Aristophanes

            How do you know that? Doesn’t say diddly squat in the article. And anyway, what it does say is that the province is following a decision in the Constitutional Court. Or do you want to follow Showerhead in only accepting it’s decisions when it suits you?

          • Peter Storbeck

            Wow. Ignorance is bliss. Did the ANC close 16 schools in Soweto a few years ago because they were all Afrikaans medium schools and that is why they had so many empty desks?

            If you were even superficially informed, you’d know that black children are flocking to former model C schools to get a better education because the SADTU controlled schools in the townships are so useless, even if the language of instruction is Afrikaans.

            It is pure, racist, ANC politics driving this. For the record, I’m English, and I was an SGB Chair (78% black students at the school, of which 24,9% of all students were non fee paying even though a quintile 5 school) for years so speak from experience.

          • Aristophanes

            I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. Were these Afrikaans schools in Soweto created by that absolute döos Treurnicht in 1976 when he screwed the lot of us by his stupid verkrampte nonsies in trying to force the blacks to be taught in die taal? Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose! It’s amazing how simple many Nats have such short memories of the absoluut kak their idiotic leaders caused us. One of the worst was Bantu Education which is one of the reasons we have such incompetents in the ANC.

          • Peter Storbeck

            Wow, just wow. Not even worthy of a reply to the stupidity on display here.

          • Aristophanes

            Jeez, another one that chickens out when the going gets tough. Typical – it’s people like you who just won’t admit the damage done by the Nats. The truth hurts too much?

          • Aristophanes

            Because all the kids going to those Model C schools actually want to learn in English because they realise how valuable a tool it is to them? The Zulus I have spoken to don’t still harbour hatred because of the way the Brits treated them.

          • Jo

            Unfortunately, that means blatant discrimination against afrikaans learners who are not permitted exactly because of english-only medium.

          • Aristophanes

            I’m sure there are lots of Afrikaans Model C schools around the country – in fact even in Durban has the large Port Natal Hoerskool plus a few smaller ones – so your whinge about ‘blatant discrimination’ is pathetic in the extreme. It’s actually quite constructive to go on their website:

            http://www porties co za/

            and note that in the photos on the main page, the only ‘non-white’ scholars are those of the opposing rugby team. Every picture tells a story, ne.

          • Elephant in the room

            ” It’s your hatred of everything English that is the problem ”

            Don’t flatter yourself , we couldn’t be bothered by you lot any less … to most of us , you are non-existent !

          • Aristophanes

            Pull the other one, it’s too obvious even now. Having lived through it for years you get to recognise these things.

          • Elephant in the room

            Who was trying to get away from whom !? … remember “Die Groot Trek “!!!!!!!

          • Aristophanes

            Yeah, as I said just now, the Afrikaners were running away from the Cape because they weren’t happy at the Brits scrapping slavery! Nothing changes, eh?

          • Elephant in the room

            Stop being a stupid rooinek and stop being so obsessed with us! It really must hurt your pomkop feelings to know that we would rather start over again and leave the Cape than to live with you so you decided to make-up some nonsense story why we left … get a life !

          • Aristophanes

            It’s only when you types get all faux-hurt because of your so-called ‘rights’ that I give a toss. And you really need to do some research outside what your Broederbond education ‘taught’ you. Here’s a small excerpt from the Wikipedia article on your tribe:

            ” Probably the most powerful motive of the Great Trek was the equality between the black and white races, as proposed by the British. The Boers considered such an equality to be intolerable. This sentiment, which found formal recognition later on in the constitution of the South African Republic, was held in fullest force by the voortrekkers. The exasperation caused by just grievances unremedied was no stronger a motive with the trekkers than the desire to be free from the restraints imposed on British subjects and the wish to be able to deal with the natives after their own fashion.”

            Are you starting to get it now, domkop?

            What staggers me is that the tribe who gave us a world statesman like Jan Smuts also spewed out a twåt like Treurnicht.

            But at least you don’t have to worry about the ‘architect of apartheid’. Old Hendrik was a real Dutchman!

          • Elephant in the room

            Wikipedia … LOL

          • Aristophanes

            Better than anything you can find. Maybe The Citizen?

          • Jo

            Blacks do not want to speak afrikaans because they incorrectly attribute apartheid to afrikaans. It was actually the British who introduced apartheid to SA. They also did in India and a few other former colonies as well, but only blacks have a problem understanding that history. Some blacks often complain about whites not pronouncing black words correctly. The real problem is blacks have such a bad pronunciation of english, even a white englishman has a problem to understand what they are saying. The blacks’ grasp of the english language is very poor, while they have a much better understanding of the afrikaans language, but in a pure racist manner they bluntly refuse to speak afrikaans.

          • Aristophanes

            Oh really, now you’re talking absolute bollox. While the Brits no doubt did some stupid things way back, it was them that stopped slavery in the Cape and that was one of the reasons the Great Trek took place! But that was a long time ago, and anyway, the Union started in 1899 so anything after that is ‘South African’ not ‘British’. It was only your Nat heroes that stuffed it up for everybody by putting their ridiculous policy of Apartheid onto the statute book. So, the blacks probably quite rightly link Afrikaans with the Nats’ apartheid, and anyway – and I’m sure this hurts you (which judging by your attitude, I quite enjoy) – they realise that English is what will get them on in the world, not Afrikaans. And on that score, what group of idiots decided to do the Drie Pielitjies in Paarl?! You only put monuments up for dead things!

            I also find your attitude towards the ‘black’ pronunciation of English quite tellingly racist.

          • Jo

            Your level of stupidity and ignorance, is really amazing

          • Aristophanes

            Shut you up, though, didn’t it poephol?!

          • Pulltheotherone

            You rang?

          • Jo

            Bah! Chinese/Mandarin is used much more extensively for business purposes. Your story is only appliccable to english speaking countries. Germany, France, Italy, Spain will not understand much if you try speaking english with them. Especially when it comes to business! Grey college has other admittance requirements as well, such as your parents having been former students. It is not just simple afrikaans/english as an admittance requirement.

        • Rixxi

          I genuinely admire your mastery of English. You are an excellent example of what I believe is the correct way to deal with language issues, cement national unity, and allow all South Africans to take advantage of the best learning materials available and subsequently to take their place as equals in the world economy. How? By ensuring that ALL South Africans of whatever nationality are educated in English as a first language, and take their native (home) language as a second language. This solution is so easy to implement, will cost less than the inefficient and fragmented system we have at present, but continues to evade the so-called “experts”.

          • Thanks for the compliment.

            I am 100% behind learning additional languages as tools to create long term success for everybody. This is the intelligent way to build a society that can compete on a global level. I know this because that is how I grew up. I was taught English and Northern Sotho in school because those were the most prominent languages I would have encountered in my then home town.

            However, and this is a big however, there seems to be a this idea that language is a superficial thing that can somehow be removed from culture, which in and of itself is the combination of values, norms and successful expression where an individual can find their true identity.

            The idea that one should view your mother tongue as inferior to English is to echo the arrogance with which the British colonialist strutted around on the continent. No culture, and consequently no language, should be regarded as inferior just because it makes the life of the English speaking citizens of the world more comfortable.

            Moreover, if global economic aptitude was the main criterium then both Spanish and Mandarin makes a lot more sense. I would always motivate people to learn these languages, but once again in addition to their home language as that is the most successful point of departure.

            Fundamentally, forcing children to learn their home language as a second language to English removes the positive power that culture holds. In the short to medium term it inhibits natural learning in children, making for less successful adults rather than more successful ones. In the long term it dissolves cultures and all the implicit knowledge that those cultures hold.

            The idea is actually quite demeaning and by no means a good solution to the underlying problem of creating a stronger society. It is just repeating the damage the colonialist arrogance wreaked on “lesser people.”

          • Rixxi

            We’ll agree to differ. I would merely point out that the culture we should be inculcating in the people of this country should be a South African one – not English, Afrikaans, Pedi, or any other divisive construct.

          • You do realize that South Africa is an artificial, near arbitrary demarcation with total disregard for the reality of tribes right?

            The day you successfully convince Germans, French and Italians to adopt English and develop a European culture, I will buy into the concept of a “South African culture.” It is naive nonsense – unity has nothing to do with sameness, it has everything to do with the ability to build strong and respectful relationships between the different cultures of this country.

            But don’t worry, we are developing a very clear South African culture – one of race motivated divisions that feed greed, entitlement, lies and fragmentation.

          • Rixxi

            You’re reducing the discussion to the absurd. France, Germany and Italy are independent countries with their own governments: no sensible person would advocate that they should all speak English to one another in their own countries(although they very likely do when a native of one country communicates with a native of the other). South Africa is a unitary country with its own government (albeit an utterly appalling one) and its citizens and the country as a whole would greatly benefit by being wholly proficient (dare I say “at home?) in one language. And please don’t go further down the road of absurdity by suggesting that one language might as well be Zulu, Tswana – or Afrikaans.

          • Jo

            English is the only non-african language out of the 11 official languages. Why do you choose that? Because you are english?
            Your ridiculous proposal will effectively mean all other languages are banned.

          • Aristophanes

            Hahahahaha. Just because your forefathers called it ‘Afrikaans’ doesn’t make it ‘African’!!!! It’s Flemish, not even high Dutch.

          • Rixxi

            Because English is also the only international language spoken in SA, and because the vast proportion of academic works in any subject of importance (barring Afrikaans, of course…) are written in that language. WHY can’t you get that into your head?

          • Aristophanes

            Have you ever been to Europe? The lingua franca is English. I was watching a programme on TV the other day where the 7 year old German girl was speaking fantastic English This is the norm around Europe. Even in France, where the French hate the English more than the Afrikaners, most people under the age of about forty speak English as there second language. Whether you like it – and I’m sure in your heart you don’t – English is the international language.

          • I have been to many parts of Europe, but let me just quote you quickly here: “most people under the age of about forty speak English as their second language.” Emphasis on second language.

            Do keep up – Rixxi suggested that English should be taught as first language and all other languages should be treated as second language, whether this is a home language or not. The argument being that this is a simple, cheap solution to solve all issues surrounding language in education.

            I am saying that this is as far fetched as asking Europeans to do the same. Looking at your comment I can see that you know enough about Europe to agree that it is highly unlikely for a German, Frenchman or Italian to do so.

            I also kindly ask that you refrain from insisting that Afrikaners hate the English. This was perhaps true for many of those who saw the horrors of the British concentration camps, less so a generation from there, and for most Afrikaners a historical reminder of how much we overcame in our time on this continent. There is no hate left, because it serves no purpose.

            Since you are not an Afrikaner, you seem to lack a proper point of reference, and clinging to that concept as a justification for your own fears regarding Afrikaners is not the best way forward.

          • Jo

            Most peple in SA have a mother tonge which is NOT english. All experts will tell you than mother tongue tuition is the very best way to educate a nation. Now you want the entire nation (90%) of non-english speaking pupils to be disadvantaged because of your one language BS? You must be a communist or something with such a one-size-fits-all attitude.

          • Rixxi

            No, I want 100% of pupils to be ADVANTAGED by speaking ONE, INTERNATIONAL, LANGUAGE. Get it? (Good grief…).

        • Swona

          What culture? What constitutional right?
          They are not African and they call their language afrika/ans.
          They deserve to be striped of everything.
          They are thieves and nothing else.

          • I congratulate you on being the poison that is killing the future of our country. No really – we need people to be incited to violence and theft using the worst kind of racist propaganda one can fathom.

            When I look at my birth certificate it reads “Born in the Republic of South Africa.” I know for a fact that the birth records of three to six generations of my forefathers will read the same. Born in Africa, lived here for generations and still some fearful individuals want to deny my heritage.

            This is precisely the problem in our country – a fearful hatred fueled by entitlement, based on lies and shallow education, instilled by uneducated racists that who are greedily ripping our country to shreds by sowing as much insidiously corrosive division as they can.

            Questioning that Afrikaners (who chose this distinction specifically to indicate that they choose to be as African as the next Zulu) doesn’t have a culture shows a shocking lack of insight into the meaning of the word, or a blatant attempt to incite anger.

            There are no facts presented, no argument made, no reference to actual history. Just a hissing of that snake in their heart that tells them that everything in this country belongs to them. Of course, ignoring the fact that if they are not Xhoisan, then they too are just visitors from the North.

            And for all who wish to question the constitutional right to receive education in one’s chosen language please refer to Section 29.2 of the Constitution.

      • Jo

        This sounds very nice and idealistic. In practise, there normally are not enough teachers in a formerly Afrikaans medium school, to accommodate the extra english speaking children. At the same time, classes have to split, meaning that for instance there are only 4 classrooms available for say Gr 7’s. Having to add only 1 classroom to add an extra room for english speakers, means some other grades has to suffer because of insufficient space.
        It is very easy foe education dept’s to prescribe a higher intake of english speakers, buth then they must provide both the extra classrooms and extra teachers.
        Teachers should also not be forced to provide classes in english, when they online want to do it in Afrikaans. Would english speaking teachers, such as most black teachers, ever be forced to provide classes in afrikaans? I don’t think so, because somehow they will put up a case for discrimination.
        Why don’t the education dept’s provide schools where the main language is in Xhosa, Zulu or Venda? This whole thing is just to0 discriminste against afrikaans schools, not so much as to provide proper education to those speaking black languages.

        • Aristophanes

          It’s got nothing to do with anything more than the never ending death throes of the ‘idealism’ of apartheid. Nice for some, but not when there are school building resources going to waste because of the continuing desire to perpetuate the ‘old days’ which everybody else – including us English speakers who got blamed for this stupidity – suffered from, except the Afrikaners. I think a lot of us are now totally gatvol with this, and to hear your and others pathetic excuses just makes it worse.

    • Khalsa Singh

      Its a form of democracy called ”liberal western democracy” that most of the world has adopted post WW2, and which people are starting to reject.

      Typical of large, inefficient, corrupt central governments that dictate to smaller muncipalities.
      I like the old Swiss and the soon the be US libertarian system which aims at decimating government officials, transferring power to local states to the minimum.

    • Swona

      History is repeating itself buy leaving you behind.

    • AfroJuju

      History repeats because people don’t know about it. In this case most of our illiterate government has never read a book let alone done something like maths or science.

      These are, after all, concepts brought by the colonialists. ‘Decolonisation’ is effectively aligned with Boko Haram.

      The ANC wrecking ball continues. Only the stupid people could possibly like the ANC.

  • Riaan

    Unless a few Zulu and Pedi schools are forced to change to English, this is blatant racism. So in order to ‘decolonise’ all must now speak English? Stupid. So in stead of learning from well performing Afrikaans schools, they hide their failure to give quality education by doing away with Afrikaans schools? So, so stupid.

    • Elephant in the room

      It’s got NOTHING to do with the quality of education but EVERYTHING to do with difference in intelligence between different racial groups !

  • Tania

    “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
    A nation imprisoning the future of their own children, through pure spite and hatred.
    Breaking down, rather than building up. This is where South African has lost the future.

    • Elephant in the room

      Tannie T , Tannie T , TANNIE T … see you STILL up-voting people I differ from … ai tog !

      • Tania

        Ego is your enemy, Ellie.

  • Skerminkel

    “The two schools which currently teach in Afrikaans have reportedly been
    instructed by the Department of Education to accommodate more English
    speaking pupils.”

    The problem is that they are not English speaking. The pupils speak various languages, but the DBE is unable to create quality schools in any languages other than English and Afrikaans. So the parents prefer that their children get their schooling in English. English schools are already full, so now they have to convert the Afrikaans schools to English.

  • Brandon van Reenen

    Wasn’t there an argument a while back about wanting to teach students in their native tongue? Now Afrikaners can’t learn in Afrikaans but there is a massive effort to ensure Nguni languages are expanded on?

  • My_opinion247

    This is why they made such a fuss about discrimination at Pretoria Girls High … to set the stage for what they had planned for 2017

    • Riaan

      Jip. There are two headmasters of Soweto schools who said those hairstyles are also not allowed in their schools, but nothing came of that.

  • MP3

    breaking things, it comes naturally to them

  • Teresa Williams

    Another complete f*-up from the ANC.

    • Tania

      Teresa!! Finally! Welcome to the “Anc-makes-me-curse”club! 🙂

  • James Dean

    Go to the Transkei and see how many schools teach solely in Xhosa.

    • SpY

      Not judging here, but do you think this is related to the quality of their results? Or is that simply poor infrastructure? (Never been to Transkei!)

  • cobusf

    Why spend time and money on schools that works, they already deliver great individuals for our land and communities, mainly because of good discipline principals.

    Government or rather Lesufi should spend its time on the schools that are less advantage and better them, with tools and proper lectures; maybe learn from what these schools achieve with their rules, implement it country wide; this will enable/reach more pupils that can’t afford to go to the targeted schools; who are the disadvantaged.

  • Greg Gow

    Lesufi is intrinsically racist

  • Trac Mila

    History might be a problem.

  • SpY

    Disagree. Rather than only considering this from the learners’ perspective – who are anyway in excess due to the undergrowth of new schools and capacity – consider for a moment the thankless job of those who drive schools: teachers. Generally speaking, there is already a shortage of science teachers – where are you going to find more teachers in a specific language? More specifically, consider a science teacher working in an Afrikaans medium, excellent at their job and producing good results. Now they are compelled to switch to English and maybe struggle. Only to teach more kids, who likely have English second language, losing the benefit of mothertongue education entirely.

    I haven’t seen anything on the present teacher crisis in staff turnover: older teachers are retiring and experienced teachers are moving to the private sector, leaving only inexperienced teachers with no mentors. And really, who can blame them for their uphill struggle… I think the inequity is when ill-mannered, disinterested and non-academic pupils find enrollment at state schools, while so many of exactly the opposite caliber have no place. Not that they aren’t entitled, there’s just no capacity in any case. 50 in a class is not teaching; it’s crowd control.

  • Ray Mulder

    Well in reality it would only take one new generation to change the 11 languages now, into one. I mean really people it’s only a language, and then we can all get on from this stupid fighting about who must speak who’s language.
    Let’s make it English because it’s the second most used language in the world.

  • Khoisan Revivalism

    Former “Coloured” schools in the Western Half of South Africa and model C schools, where Cape Dutch Coloureds(Connection to Slave descendants) and Cape Natives(Khoesaan) originally reside must have Kaaps(“afrikaans”) and Khoesaan languages taught. Government can’t now put Xhosa, Sotho and Tswana language at the expense of the Khoesaan language in these schools as 3rd language proposition. This is an outright grievence that will be one of the main points(Sub-Saharan Africanisation of the Cape Africa region) in igniting war.

  • Mo

    What is needed is LESS government involvement in schools and everything else.
    “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” Thomas Jefferson

  • Eugene Gino Bonase Khumalo

    This is the problem with the current society.
    White people want to keep the benefits that they got though apartheid.
    You cant say that we moving forward but refuse to share resources and education is one thee most important resources out there.

  • Peter Storbeck

    Which ANC is talking here? The one who has stated for years that home language instruction is the goal, or the racist one intent on destroying Afrikaans, the third most spoken home language in the country, ahead of English?

    Just wondering?

  • Simon

    Check the wikipedia article on the Soweto uprising – language policy in schools is hardly a new issue.

    Punt Janson, the Deputy Minister of Bantu Education at the time: (quote) “… No, I have not consulted them and I am not going to consult them. I
    have consulted the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa …”

    I think this issue is more complicated than appears, and much less to do
    with race than anyone makes it out to be. The desire of different
    cultures to retain their identity, and the factors affecting the
    individual schools, and how their communities manage them are deeply
    important to those with children and thus with vested interest in them
    and their future. Naturally it’s going to be an emotive subject. I’ve
    rarely seen increased government fiddling to be a good thing (normally
    the opposite), but I confess to not being fully clued up on this

  • Swona


  • Wilhelm Snyman

    what’s the point when down the line the universities are being trashed?

  • xdoomx

    “only 40% of those who speak Afrikaans at home are whites.
    This means that out of 6.9 million people who speak the
    language at home, 2.7 million are white, while the rest are from other racial groups.”

    Viva ANC.. Viva

    Keeping South Africa minority ruled since 1994

  • OptimisticPessimist

    Let’s see if teaching them maths in English makes any difference

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