AfriForum Youth launches petition against compulsory first-year module at Kovsies
AfriForum Youth Kovsies this week launches a petition against the module known as UFS101, and will use focus groups to get the students' opinion on this module, which was initiated at the University of the Free State (UFS) by the rector, Prof. Jonathan Jansen. In the module, aspects about, among others faith, politics and history are discussed within the South African context, with some parts of the course dealing with the existence of God and the guilt young whites must carry for apartheid.
‘Students feel that their human dignity is violated and that they are discriminated against on the grounds of their faith, language and association with Afrikaners as a minority group,' Anné Calitz, chairperson of AfriForum Youth Kovsies, said.
UFS101 is a compulsory year module all first year students have to pass for degree purposes. It is only presented in English. In the overview of the module, it is mentioned that in this course the use of Afrikaans is not allowed in order to "promote social cohesion". Moreover, students are not allowed to answer questions in Afrikaans.
Prof. Dolf Britz, who addressed the students as a guest lecturer for the UFS101 module, made a comparison between the Battle of Blood River and Sharpeville, and offered an apology for his history on behalf of Afrikaners, because Afrikaners had blood on their hands, and should therefore beg for the forgiveness of black people. In his response, the Rev. Sukdaven accepted the apology on behalf of other South Africans.
Scenarios in which a black student obtained three distinctions in matric, in contrast to a white student who obtained eight, are also presented to students as part of the course, and students then have to explain why merit should not be used as criterion for admission.