Court rules in favour of teaching in preferred language

The Gauteng Education Department had wanted to compel some schools to teach in two languages.

The court also says the department must respect the federation of governing bodies’ policies and decisions. Picture: Saps.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Johannesburg has ruled in favour of school governing bodies who want to teach in a preferred language.

The Gauteng Education Department had wanted to compel some schools to teach in two languages.

The court also says the department must respect the federation of governing bodies' policies and decisions.

A number of school governing bodies brought an urgent application challenging the department's plans to convert 124 single-medium schools, many of them Afrikaans, to parallel-medium.

The department has argued that it's merely trying to address overcrowding but the governing bodies argue this is illegal.

Provincial MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the courts have only complicated matters.

"The court has unfortunately added confusion to the whole matter saying a learner from another area can go another school and ask to be taught in their preferred language."