UFS language policy ruling ‘contravenes language rights’

AfriForum says it believes the ruling on new language policy at the University of the Free State contravenes language rights and best practices for education.

Picture: Facebook.com.

JOHANNESBURG - AfriForum says it’s disappointed by the Constitutional Court’s judgment, which upheld the legality of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) decision to drop dual medium Afrikaans and English policy.

It says it believes the ruling contravenes language rights and best practices for education.

The organisation brought the case to the Constitutional Court after the university adopted a new language policy, which saw English as the only medium of instruction.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says that the university council’s approval of the language policy was lawful and constitutionally valid.

AfriForum says the judgment shows that languages of minorities are not protected.

AfriForum’s Alana Bailey says the judgment shows that languages of minorities are not protected.

“Indigenous languages are being marginalised while the colonial English language is being empowered more and more. This ruling proves that minorities are left on their own by government and that if we want to see our language rights realised, we will have to establish our own institutions privately.”

Meanwhile, the Higher Education Transformation Network (HETN) has welcomed the judgment.

It says the ruling sets a legal precedent establishing official university policy certainty.

HETN says South Africa is a country with 11 official languages and all languages and cultures must be treated equally with respect.