CAPE TOWN – The Hoërskool DF Malan community, including those who have registered for 2022, will soon be voting on the proposed new name for the school – Protea Akademie or DF Akademie.
Debates around the name change at the Bellville school have persisted over the years, with the current school governing body (SGB) working with staff, parents, learners and alumni to finally launch a process of rethinking all aspects of the school’s identity.
Daniël François Malan, member of the National Party, was Prime Minister of South Africa from 1948 to 1954. During his tenure, the foundations for apartheid were laid.
A Facebook group, “Trots DF Malan,” launched by parents and alumni against the name change, called for a referendum on whether the name change should go ahead, but the request was denied.
The group said, “During the school’s feedback sessions, 301 suggestions for retaining DF Malan were received. Obviously the school is working on their transparency which is a direct result of this page and the “Keep DF Malan” pressure. It shows how important it is that we keep going until the truth is revealed. “
According to SGB President André Roux, extensive consultations and several workshops took place with the school community which led to the decision to change the name of the school.
“As part of this process, all stakeholders were invited in August 2021 to make suggestions for a new name for the school.
“Approximately 626 proposals were received, which the governing body subcommittee reviewed and shortened – a process that was greatly facilitated by the fact that many of the proposals were accepted.
“After a process of review and discussion, the school board decides on September 22 to submit two names to the school community to choose from, a process that begins now,” said Roux.
He said Protea Akademie’s motivation included the fact that a Protea king was already the central motif of the school’s current coat of arms, ensuring continuity.
DF Akademie’s motivation was that “Dr DF Malan and DF Malan High School have two different identities. The process of disconnection between the political figure and what the school has stood for over the years has already happened naturally ”.
Electronic voting is expected to take place on October 15.
“After the vote, the preferred name will be ratified by the SGB and submitted to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) for final review and approval. SGB would like to stress that the decision to carefully change the name of the school was taken after a thorough and inclusive process in which so many learners, parents, staff and alumni were involved, ”said Roux.
WCED spokesperson Millicent Merton said the SGB said it had consulted widely on the issue and was providing feedback to various interest groups.
“The ministry is monitoring and observing the process. “
Cape Town Hours