So, again, cutting it very close. I have been mostly hard at work on my presentation for tomorrow morning. I don't really like presentations. At least with papers, I know when I'm done, but with presentations I tend to fret and study and read right up until time to give it even if I'm already pretty well-prepared. It's no fun. But since I still have a bibliography to fine-tune, today's post goal is to stay in the competition. And besides that, people are always asking me what exactly it is I do or study and why it matters. Well, here is your chance to find out. You always wanted to know about Bantu Education in Apartheid, 1948-1968, right? (oh, and my mother just emailed me to remind me to post a blog...thanks mom!).
I bring you....my presentation handout. Let me know if you want my bibliography too for further reading! (how many comments do you think I'll get on this post? I predict 0).
Bantu Education 1948 – 1968
Bantu Education was the expression given to apartheid policy in the field of schooling.
Overview of most important events
• 1949 – 1951: Eiselen Commission
• 1953: Bantu Education Act:
• 1959: Extension of University Education Act
• 1963: Coloured Persons Education Act
• 1965: Indian Education Act
The implementation of the Bantu Education Act started fully in 1955.
Eiselen Commission and Report
• Headed by Dr. W.M. Eiselen—trained Linguist and Anthropologist; also influenced by ideals of the Berlin Mission Society. An important thinker for the National Party.
• Enquiry into the “the formulation of the principles and aims of education for Natives as an independent race.” (Horell, p.136).
• Eiselen report interpreted several ways by historians: 1) a pragmatic attempt to deal with current political circumstances by directing Africans to their “own” areas to develop their own cultures, and at their own pace; 2) aimed at overhauling the inefficient Mission-dominated system in place; 3) designing education system to force Africans to supply labor for industry.
Bantu Education Act, 1953
• Extended education to a greater number of of black students
• Restructured education tracks to emphasize trades and technical skills
• Government control over curriculum, tests, etc; more community involvement in school administration
Initial Implications for the Schools:
• Intense financial burdens forced many mission schools to close
• Moved expenditure on black education: costs largely carried by black population
• Inadequate level of material provision and reduced quality (accommodation, material, maintenance, overcrowding classes, lack of teachers, experienced teachers left etc.) – up to 60 children per class, double sessions.
• Problems exacerbated by huge growth in black population
1. How persuasive do you find the various historical interpretations of the goals of Bantu Education? (key historical arguments summarized below)
a.Intended to ease labour demands in industry (Marxist vision)
b.More ideologically, concerned that the mission schools were providing the wrong kind of education for blacks—a sort that was instilling unrealistic expectations (Liberal vision)
c.Primarily concerned with improving efficiency in the schools and in governance
2. What was (or were) underlying reason(s) for closing of the mission schools (e.g. finances, quality, underlying denominational disputes, rise of nationalistic policy, starting spirit of revolution among black students (e.g. 1946 Lovedale).
3. How did the rhetoric of apartheid education line up with its implementation within the political and economic constraints of the time?
4. In other contexts at this same time, mother tongue instruction was seen as the best route to education. (Chinua Achebe, for example, writes acerbically in the 60s and 70s about English being imposed on children in Kenya and criticized the missions for not using mother-tongue instruction.) Why was it seen differently in South Africa?
5. What were the complicated factors of Bantu education for teachers?
6. Are there positive points to mention about Bantu Education (for instance, can you justify it because it extended education to more people?) (e.g. stabilising the educational system)