The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) welcome the decision of the University of Free State (UFS) Council to adopt English as the sole language of instruction despite their believe that the decision “did not come out of the wisdom and benevolence of council members.” And, have called on the institution to commence a curriculum transformation as well.
To the fighters, “the universities must also begin to consider curriculum transformation by redirecting research to questions that affect our country and the continent.
Curriculum transformation will only be realized when the experiences of the continent are prioritized in all human and scientific research because out of these will arise new knowledge, disciplines and expertise,” stated the fighters.
Regarding the decision to abandon Afrikaans as a “step towards transformation at UFS”, EFF claimed that “within the institutions of higher learning, as well as in many public schools in South Africa, Afrikaans has maintained segregation and racial privileges.
As an institutionalized language, it has kept alive white supremacist cultural practices and given license to white right-wing groups to think it is legal and legitimate to be racist.”
The opposition party commended all the students who participated in the language protest and called on “universities of Stellenbosch, Pretoria and UNISA to heed to the call that Afrikaans Must Fall as a step towards transformation of the university.”
With that, they demanded that “all colonial and apartheid statues” in campuses across the country must be removed. To them, the “campuses must be freed from being centers that celebrate colonialists, mass murderers and their associated racist ideas.”
Arguing that a truly inclusive South Africa cannot be achieved with segregated class rooms in the universities, Juju’s party pointed-out that “any attempt to keep students separate from each other on the basis of language at a higher education and learning level is anti-intellectual, feeds to an oppressive pedagogy and results in one-dimensional beings who only know their cultures.
There is no doubt that Afrikaans as an institutional practice has kept alive white supremacists who have culturally reproduced each other even at university levels,” the freedom fighters remarked.
Above all, they lectured that “a healthy learning environment is one where students and teachers meet each other beyond the worlds of their cultures to be challenged and to challenge others.
The human spirit must never be imprisoned to any past, its cultural creativity must always evolve for the betterment of humanity as a whole,” EFF said and diagnosed thus – “Afrikaans as a medium of instruction traps white students in cocoons of racism, dumbing them to believe in exclusive identities without being challenged (SIC).”