Lesufi: Gauteng Dept Will Defend Afrikaans Language In Schools

PICTURE: EWN

Gauteng Education MEC Panyza Lesufi and his department say, they will fight, protect and defend the Afrikaans language in schools.

In respond to a report that 119 schools that were either Afrikaans-medium or dual-medium have been converted to English-medium, as many of those schools were in coloured areas around the province, where Afrikaans is a dominant language and culture.

According to the statistics revealed by the department, only eight former Afrikaans medium schools, three in Johannesburg, three in Pretoria, one in Krugersdorp and one in Springs, were converted to English-medium schools.
Furthermore the statistics confirmed that a total 43 dual-medium schools in coloured areas were converted to English-medium schools.

A total of 16 of these schools are situated in the coloured area Eldorado Park.

With the concerns raised about schools in coloured areas and Afrikaans being dominant language and culture in schools, AfriForum Deputy CEO Alana Bailey said these statistics are shocking and shows Afrikaans is under threat within province.

“It goes to show that dual-medium and parallel-medium schools eventually end in English only medium schools.
“In a conversation earlier this month between MEC Lesufi, AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel and Danie Brink from Helpende Hand, Lesufi denied he had a mandate to convert all schools to English-medium schools. Schools should only be more integrated, was his assertion,” Bailey said.

According to Bailey, in the year 2016 and 2017, they had been involved in a parallel medium primary school, which, according to the demographics of the area, had enough Afrikaans entries to convert back to Afrikaans-medium.
“The department did everything to stop it. The school remained parallel-medium,” Bailey said.

“It’s a fact that the department is not doing enough to inform parents about the advantages to teach their children in their mother tongue,” she concluded.