Single-medium schools should accommodate other languages: Lesufi

20 May 2019 - 14:53 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. File photo.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. File photo.
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo/Sowetan

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says single-medium schools should accommodate other languages when they place pupils.

"We believe that our children must be taught in their home language. Anyone who prefers that their children be taught in their home language, we don’t have a problem with that.

"The problem is when you say that schools must have that language only and you are not utilising the facilities to the fullest. That is where we differ," Lesufi said on the first day of online admissions for the 2020 academic year.

He took to Twitter to update the public on the application process and to address issues raised by parents who were struggling to apply.

"… Ready to defend non-racialism in our education system. This is non-negotiable. Gone are the days where one race can privatise public education institutions under the disguise of language or culture," Lesufi tweeted.

He took a swipe at a user who accused him of targeting "well functioning" schools instead of focusing on dysfunctional ones.

"Lesufi is concerned with targeting well functioning schools much more than with fixing dysfunctional schools," user Ernst Roets said.

"If your ancestors didn’t give us gutter education dysfunctional schools won't exist. Besides, all schools belong to all our children. Gauteng is the number one province in terms of education so your accusation is baseless. Out of the top 10 districts in the country 8 are in Gauteng, Lesufi shot back.

By midmorning on Monday, Lesufi said, the department had processed almost 200,000 applications for pupils wanting to start grades 1 and 8 next year.

Lesufi said the department had also addressed the issue of placing pupils whose parents worked close to the preferred schools.

"Because the majority of people use their work address to access schools, the SGB wanted to elevate the home address to be the determining factor in placing learners.

"The GDE has addressed the issue," Lesufi said.