Judgement on the matter between Overvaal Hoërskool and the Gauteng Department of Education not progressive for multilingualism
15 JANUARY, PRETORIA
As an interested stakeholder task with the promotion multilingualism and the protection of people’s linguistic rights, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) is of the opinion that the Judgement by Justice Bill Prinsloo on the matter between Overvaal Hoërskool and Gauteng Department of Education dealt the South African national multilingualism agenda a fatal blow.
As much as we agree with the Judge that the decision of the Gauteng Department of Education was irrational as other schools in the surroundings have indicated that they do have space to accommodate learners, however, it is the view of PanSALB that language cannot be used a barrier to learning.
As we go down memory lane to mark the 42nd anniversary of June 16, a question that lurks in our minds is whether we have come to terms with the constitutional provision of 11 official languages, as well as the surrounding socio-economic conditions.
The situation we currently have is one in which the languages of the African majorities are marginalised and underdeveloped in comparison to Afrikaans and more particularly English.
Against the background of official status given to 11 languages, we have to consciously move away from the current dominance of English to a situation in which all South African official languages are treated equally and properly – not only on paper but in fact.
We call upon DBE to ensure that all former model C-schools introduce one indigenous language in their curriculum to intensify the drive towards the total transformation of the education system.
PanSALB as mandated by parliament will follow this matter with both parties involved to ensure that the recognition of our constitutional languages are accommodated accordingly, particularly in all learning institutions.
“It is our responsibility as the nation to make sure that people are trained with the language they all understand to continue equipping them for the better and avoid the segregation policies of the past where the imbalances had marginalized us. We will also meet with the university to measure the development of this matter” said Dr Rakwena Monareng, Chief Executive Officer of PanSALB. (Ends)