According to AfriForum Youth, the findings and proposals made in the Evaluation Report of the International Research Team appointed to probe the North West University are short-sighted, and propose a step backwards for the University’s future and transformation process. The youth organisation is of the view that the international members of the team are not experienced enough in the unique South African context, and that they’ve made proposals which are not feasible and which will increase instability on the three North West University Campuses.
“The NWU has always prided itself in sustainable transformation moulded on merit and the Constitution. The proposal to downgrade the importance of Afrikaans as an academic language at the University is a step backwards regarding national, but specifically North West University transformation. If we market ourselves abroad as a rainbow nation, our own government should surely understand that there’s more than one culture and language in this rainbow nation. Especially this multi-cultural approach is overlooked by the team. One language does not have to be disadvantaged to benefit or promote another,” Paul Maritz, chairman of the AfriForum Youth branch on the Potchefstroom Campus of the NWU, said.
The New Age newspaper reported that the importance of the report was emphasized by the sudden resignation of former vice chancellor, Dr Theuns Eloff, as well as the alleged racist practices on the Potchefstroom Campus.
“The importance of first language education on all levels has been a massive point of discussion in South Africa over the past 20 years. It is disappointing that the research team overlooked years of knowledge and research. They indicate that the NWU is financially and on a management level advanced, but at no stage they considered the possibility that the language policy of the University has strongly contributed to the stability and growth,” Maritz said.
AfriForum Youth will unceasingly fight for first language education in South Africa.