Fedsas: Judgment on UFS language policy implicates entire education sector

A court ruled in favour of AfriForum and Solidarity to stop a proposed change to the UFS’s language policy.

FILE: The University of the Free State's Bloemfontein campus. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) says a judgment on the University of the Free State's language policy has important implications for the entire education sector.

Yesterday, the High Court in Bloemfontein ruled in favour of lobby groups AfriForum and Solidarity to stop a proposed change to the university's current language policy.

Earlier this year, the institution reached a unanimous decision to make English the primary medium of instruction from 2017.

But last month, the groups told a full bench of judges that the removal of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at the institution was a violation of the Constitution.

Fedsas' Jaco Deacon says mother tongue education must be promoted both at schools and at institutions of higher education.

"The court's ruling is clear that when you consider the language option, you must consider the best interests of the current learners who are the best students at the institution and you cannot simply take a language right way from learners."