DA accuses Stellenbosch University management of being anti-Afrikaans

In 2016 the institution implemented a new language policy that elevated the status of English in an effort to avoid making students, who are not fluent in Afrikaans, feel marginalised and excluded.

FILE: Stellenbosch University. Picture: @stellenboschuniversity/Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has launched a petition to make Afrikaans equal to English at Stellenbosch University.

The party said the aim of the petition - which had so far garnered over 3,000 signatures - was to protect the right to mother tongue education.

In 2016, the institution implemented a new language policy that elevated the status of English in an effort to avoid making students who were not fluent in Afrikaans feel marginalised and excluded.

However, reports emerged that some first-year students at several residences were allegedly banned from speaking Afrikaans in their rooms or to their peers.

The DA’s Leon Schreiber has accused the university’s management of being anti-Afrikaans - he said that the language must be granted equal status for teaching and student life.

"In our petition, we demand that the first draft of the new language policy be rejected because it will result in even further exclusion of Afrikaans students. Instead, a new policy must create a fair language dispensation that grants absolutely equal status to Afrikaans and English as the primary languages at the university."

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