AfriForum Youth welcomes the decision that English will not be the only medium of instruction at Elsenburg Agricultural College as was announced earlier this week. That decision was overturned today during a meeting. Both Afrikaans and English were reintroduced as mediums of instruction.
‘Although we are very happy about the decision, we are still concerned about the absence of a decision-making process that can be followed when decisions like the one to change the medium of instruction have to be taken. We also understand that no steps have been taken yet against the students who were the leaders of the illegal march,’ said Henk Maree, National Chairman of AfriForum Youth.
About 14 Elsenburg students took part in the march under the leadership of Sibelo Nkobo, a member of the student council. The protesters disrupted many classes and deprived other students of their right to education. ‘So far management has not acted against the students at all. What is even worse, is that Sibelo Nkobo has to represent all students in meetings while it is clear that he has a political agenda,’ said Maree.
Darryl Jacobs, Acting Deputy Director General of Agricultural Development and Support Services in the Western Cape, instructed in a letter that all future education should take place in English only. ‘There was no consultation with any party. The Department was also very fast, perhaps too fast, to make such a drastic decision without any investigation,’ said Maree.
Earlier this week AfriForum Youth had sent a letter to the college demanding that the decision to use English as the only medium of instruction is reversed or they would take further steps.
‘Many members of AfriForum Youth actively cooperated this week to oppose the ill-considered decision of the department. We will monitor the situation closely because we are convinced that this week was only a prelude of what lies ahead,’ said Maree.