SGBs go to court to halt bilingual teaching order
School governing bodies are in court to halt plans compelling some schools to teach pupils in two languages.
JOHANNESBURG - School governing bodies will approach the High Court in Johannesburg this morning to try to stop the Gauteng Education Department's plans to compel some schools to teach pupils in two languages.
The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) is bringing an urgent application against plans to convert 124 single-medium schools, many of them Afrikaans, to parallel-medium.
The department says it's trying to address overcrowding but Fedsas has argued the move is illegal.
In court papers, the federation has said it wants to prevent the department from unlawfully interfering with the right of school governing bodies to set language and admission policies.
The department's Phumla Sekhonyane said the focus is not limited to Afrikaans-medium schools.
"We cannot to build new schools when there are schools that are not to their full maximum; be it they are under-utilised or schools that do not offer certain languages. This is not just exclusive to Afrikaans."
Fedsas has described the department's plans as a narrow approach to unity.
CEO Paul Colditz says, "It's got absolutely nothing to do with race, it's got to do with legal, proper procedures being followed by those entrusted with the policy making decisions."
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says, "There is no way under my leadership that I would destroy Afrikaans. Actually, I'll be the first person to defend Afrikaans. But what I am saying is, where the school is not fully utilised, let's open it up."