The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) wants to challenge English being the medium of instruction in South African schools.

It also wants changes to the way schools are run in the country and the curriculum. The union says it wants African languages to receive the same treatment as English.

SADTU General-Secretary Mugwena Maluleke was speaking at the union’s three-day conference in Kempton Park east of Johannesburg.

“When you play you cannot speak SeTswana, you must always speak English when you play in the grounds because this is a model C school. You cannot speak in Shona, TshiVhenda,”says Maluleke.

He asks: “Is it right for those children not to speak their own language because they’ve got to learn the English language? So when they play is it right that they play in English and dream and think in English because that is what is demanded of them?”