JOHANNESBURG - Some Gauteng parents have expressed their outrage at the provincial Education Department's proposal to implement English and Afrikaans as the languages of teaching and learning in certain township schools.
Unity Secondary School in Daveyton is a top-performing school.
It offers six official languages, not including Afrikaans. This about to change.
“We don’t do Afrikaans. So the Afrikaans may be a problem because we don’t have Afrikaans teachers and the problem is that most of these kids from the township who went to former model-c schools, they started at primary level,” said the school's principal, Wandile James Makhubu.
"English was the first language, we are doing it as a second language.”
Parents are also digesting the news.
Daveyton parents say they don't want their children to learn Afrikaans and would prefer other African languages like isiZulu, SeTshwana, and Sepedi be prioritised.
The cultural and linguistic organisation, the CRL Rights Commission has now entered the fray.
They want languages to be treated equally.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Education was called to account.
Basic Education Department DDG Mamiki Maboya said, “within the system, we are experiencing high repetition and dropout rates."
"We do think that language could be a contributing factor. It means in terms of content, they have to grapple with the language and the content of the subject. So, it disadvantages them in a way.”
While the grown-ups squabble, it is the lives of the children that will ultimately be impacted.