'Decolonizing the classroom doesn't mean scrapping Afrikaans'

Conversations around the decolonisation of education in South Africa are often held alongside calls for the "weeding out" of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in schools.

Just last month AfriForum accused Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi of having a negative attitude towards the Afrikaans language in respect of his ongoing fight for nonracialism in schools in the province.

But Stellenbosch journalism student Lia Snijman says that multilingualism - which includes Afrikaans - is "essential if we want all South Africans to have the opportunity to flourish".

Snijman completed her undergraduate degree in Afrikaans and Dutch, English and French, at Stellenbosch University.

I definitely think it would be better for everybody if they are able to do a part of their education in their own home language.

Lia Snijman, Journalism honours student - Stellenbosch University

Says she understands why Panyaza Lesufi disapproves of Afrikaans-only schools, but argues that the resources used to preserve Afrikaans can similarly be used for African languages.

"What we as Afrikaans-speaking people need to understand is that if our language that originated in Africa wants to thrive, then other African languages need to thrive as well." - Decolonise education — by including Afrikaans, Daily Maverick article.

We should look at the way Afrikaans has been able to develop, obviously not going to follow the whole excluding other languages to build up a language, but looking at what kind of resources we should invest in.

Lia Snijman, Journalism honours student - Stellenbosch University

I think we could use some of our resources as the Afrikaans community to help other communities.

Lia Snijman, Journalism honours student - Stellenbosch University

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