NRF-rated professor delivers inaugural lecture
Prof Themba Ngwenya, NRF-rated academic in Humanities from the North-West University´s (NWU´s) Mafikeng Campus, delivered his inaugural lecture on 15 April 2016. The title of his lecture was: “From June 16 to February 24: so where to from here? Language in education in the South African higher education system”.
The lecture focused on language as applied in higher education and the role it played in the June 16 uprisings. Primary school learners boycotted classes in protest against the imposition of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in their schools and the subsequent tragic aftermath that took place.
Prof Ngwenya also indicated how language provides access to acquire knowledge (learning). “Once knowledge has been acquired it would result in some form of improvement of social and economic status because half a loaf, was better than no loaf."
He also emphasised that, since language plays a crucial role both inside and outside the classroom and lecture halls, it must be developed more to be used to communicate in formal environments of education such as universities.
“The fact that the right to receive education in the learner’s language of choice can only be accessed if it is ‘reasonably practicable’, is a limitation, since it leaves the door open for abuse”, Prof Ngwenya said.