Apartheid Backgroundms. Schroll's Ela Classes

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We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2 Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

Maria Lizet Ocampo
Updated 9-19-2004

'Challenging the past and moving beyond the legacy of apartheid' is how the South African Department of Education plans to work towards social justice and equity with the introduction of the new curriculum titled 'Curriculum 2005' (Asmal). Eliminating the overt racism in educational policies is the first step in challenging the past, but other factors of social inequalities need to be addressed to minimize the racial inequalities in education for the future.

The Apartheid system created educational inequalities through overt racist policies (see timeline). The Bantu Education Act of 1952 ensured that Blacks receive an education that would limit educational potential and remain in the working class (UCT). This policy directly affected the content of learning to further racial inequalities by preventing access to further education. In addition to content, apartheid legislation affected the educational potential of students. School was compulsory for Whites from age seven to sixteen, for Asians and Coloureds from seven to fifteen, and for Blacks from age seven to thirteen (US Library of Congress). Clearly, the less education students received, the fewer choices they had in the working world and in accessing more education. Since these policies ensured that the content and amount of education perpetuated social inequalities, changing these policies in a post-apartheid era was the logical step towards social equality.

Educational inequality was also evident in funding. The Bantu Education Act created separate Departments of Education by race, and it gave less money to Black schools while giving most to Whites (UCT). Since funding determines the amount and quality of learning materials, facilities, and teachers, disproportionate funding clearly created disparities in learning environments. For instance, Apartheid funding resulted in an average teacher pupil ratio of 1:18 in white schools, 1:24 in Asian schools, 1:27 in Coloured schools, and 1:39 in Black schools (US Library of Congress). Furthermore, the apartheid system also affected the quality of teachers. White schools had 96% of teachers with teaching certificates, while only 15% of teachers in Black schools were certified (Garson). In addition to affecting the quality of education, the Bantu Education Act also resulted in the closure of many learning institutions since it withdrew funding from schools affiliated with religion. Since many church schools provided education for a large number of Blacks, the Black students were the ones most profoundly impacted by the withdrawal of these funds (US Library of Congress). Although the government explained its actions under the premise of separation of church and state, eliminating schools that serve Blacks is an ultimate form of educational injustice.

  1. Evidence of apartheid can still be found throughout South Africa today. Whites are more likely to work in occupations that earn more money such as banking and government. During Apartheid whites received a better education than blacks and today whites are more likely to go to college than blacks. Under apartheid, blacks were forced to live in.
  2. To get control over the economic and social system, the national party invented apartheid, the original plan was to maintein white domination whileextending racial separation. At the beggining of the 60's, a plan of 'grand apartheid' was executed. Consisted in territorial separation and police represion. Race laws touched every aspect of social life, for instance, marriage between whites.

The policies and funding disparities in schools ensured contrasting access to higher education. Four Afrikaans speaking universities and one English speaking university admitted only Whites, while the other five had restricted admission and segregated classrooms (US Library of Congress). Additionally, there was no financial aid, and banks did not give out loans to Blacks or Coloureds (Knipe-Solomon). This means that even if students could break through working class instruction with under-qualified teachers in overcrowded classrooms, they still faced financial barriers to achieving their academic goals.

Post-Apartheid Educational Inequalities

Since the apartheid era, many policy changes have occurred within education to try to address educational inequalities. Integration has occurred in the school system, and school is compulsory for nine years for all races (Garson). Although Bantu education ideology has been officially left behind, schools are still under de facto segregation. Whites have moved to private schools, and suburban schools have a majority of Coloured students, while township schools are overwhelmingly Black, and rural schools tend to have Black and Coloured students (Knipe-Solomon). The Global Perspectives on Human Language: the South African Context seminar witnessed this when visiting schools. Chris Hani Independent School is a township school that operates in tin shacks with at least forty students per shack. They have volunteer teachers and limited resources. All students are Black. Elizabethfontein School is a rural school with students who travel so far to attend school that they must stay in the school hostels during the week. The students are Coloured. Although diversity exists in the Cape Town area schools, the student populations of individual sites remains largely homogeneous based on race, and the quality of schools follows this division.

Despite policy efforts to equalize education among races, there still exist many seemingly racially neutral policies to funding that may disproportionately and negatively affect Blacks and Coloureds. The government spends 20% of its budget on education. Administrative responsibility rests with the nine provinces along with elected school governance bodies to decide how to spend their education budgets (Garson). The government attempts to address inequalities through a funding plan that divides schools into five strata according to income levels in the community where the lower income level receives the higher funding per pupil (Pearce). This funding system is definitely a large step towards improving historical disadvantages, but these funds are not enough to operate schools. Schools receive a minimum amount from the government, and parents are required to pay a fee to the school; fees vary considerably depending on factors such as class size, facilities, and the quality of teaching offered (Garson). For example, former white schools in suburbs charge R10,000 ($1,500), and other schools charge R150 (about $25) a year (Pearce). These differences in fees result in disparities between the qualities of schools. Private schools have one teacher for every fifteen students, while schools with extra fees have a maximum of thirty students per class, and poorer schools have as many as forty to fifty per teacher (Garson). While acknowledging that more students have been introduced to the education system since Apartheid ended, these ratios are still more widespread than those during apartheid. The difference now is that Bantu Education is gone, and blacks are unofficially at the bottom.

This de facto segregation in schools is due to the cross between race and socio-economic status. When apartheid ended in 1994, Africans earned an average of just 20% of Whites (O'Gorman). Blacks obviously will have less economic means to pay for a higher quality of education. Some schools have parents with 90% unemployment (Pearce). In this case, schools must charge smaller fees in communities that need the most resources to provide a higher quality of education. Furthermore, 'While 65% of whites over 20 years old and 40% of Indians have high school or higher qualification, this figure is only 14% among Blacks and 17% among the Coloured population' (Pearce). Because apartheid education aimed at keeping blacks and Coloured at the lower end of the socio-economic system, they will have less means to pay the high fees for the good quality schools.

Disparities in access, funding, and quality of education are not limited to primary and secondary schools. Inequalities also exist in the higher education system. There is no financial aid to go to college (Knipe-Solomon). Since Blacks and Coloureds historically have been limited to working class jobs, the ability to fund an education for younger generations is a challenge many families cannot overcome. Furthermore, overseas scholarships ended after apartheid ended (Knipe-Solomon). Here again, racial inequalities are perpetuated through lack of access to higher education.

It is impossible to address the inequalities in education without taking into account the economic disparities resulting from apartheid education. Contrasting tiers of the work force linger in the wake of apartheid's separatist presence; a large population of working class blacks stands out against the elite professional force comprised mainly of whites. This signifies that the education system needs to rely less on individual contributions from parents for compulsory education as well as higher education in order to be able to further aim at 'moving past the legacy of apartheid.' This ideal reform into free public education for all and financial aid for higher education requires money. Since 20% of funds already go to education, it is crucial that the Department of Education explore creative reforms to reallocate funds or find resources through other avenues, e.g. tourism in townships. These efforts will further achieve the goal of moving beyond the past and work towards a future of social justice.

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Asmal, Kader. 'South African Curriculum: The Twenty First Century,' Report of the Review Committee on Curriculum 2005. Presented to the Minister of Education. http://education.pwv.gov.za/Policies%20and%20Reports/2000_Reports/2005/Chisholm_2005.htm

See Full List On Study.com

Garson, Philippa. 'Education in South Africa.' Accessed on 16 September 2004. www.southafrica.info/ess_info/sa_glance/education/education.htm>.

Knipe-Solomon, Colleen. Interview. 16 September 2004. Interview conducted by Lizet Ocampo.

O'Gorman, Melanie. 'Education Disparity and Racial Earnings Inequality: Insights from South Africa and the US.' 10 June, 2004. www.chass.utoronto.ca/~ogorman/2yp.ppl . Accessed on 16 September 2004.

Pearce, Justin. 'SA Poor's Education Struggle,' BBC News. Accessed on 16 September 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa .

University of Cape Town Conference Talk with Members of the Writing Department, Mellon Fellow Program administrators and professors. Seminar Lecture. 8 September, 2004.

US Library of Congress. Accessed on 16 September 2004. http://countrystudies.us/south-africa/56.htm

Apartheid, the Afrikaans name given by the white-ruled South Africa’s Nationalist Party in 1948 to the country’s harsh, institutionalized system of racial segregation, came to an end in the early 1990s in a series of steps that led to the formation of a democratic government in 1994. Years of violent internal protest, weakening white commitment, international economic and cultural sanctions, economic struggles, and the end of the Cold War brought down white minority rule in Pretoria. U.S. policy toward the regime underwent a gradual but complete transformation that played an important conflicting role in Apartheid’s initial survival and eventual downfall.

F.W. de Klerk shakes hands with Nelson Mandela at the end of the talks between the Government and anti-apartheid groups to end white-minority rule. (AP Photo/ John Parkin)

Although many of the segregationist policies dated back to the early decades of the twentieth century, it was the election of the Nationalist Party in 1948 that marked the beginning of legalized racism’s harshest features called Apartheid. The Cold War then was in its early stages. U.S. President Harry Truman’s foremost foreign policy goal was to limit Soviet expansion. Despite supporting a domestic civil rights agenda to further the rights of black people in the United States, the Truman Administration chose not to protest the anti-communist South African government’s system of Apartheid in an effort to maintain an ally against the Soviet Union in southern Africa. This set the stage for successive administrations to quietly support the Apartheid regime as a stalwart ally against the spread of communism.

Inside South Africa, riots, boycotts, and protests by black South Africans against white rule had occurred since the inception of independent white rule in 1910. Opposition intensified when the Nationalist Party, assuming power in 1948, effectively blocked all legal and non-violent means of political protest by non-whites. The African National Congress (ANC) and its offshoot, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), both of which envisioned a vastly different form of government based on majority rule, were outlawed in 1960 and many of its leaders imprisoned. The most famous prisoner was a leader of the ANC, Nelson Mandela, who had become a symbol of the anti-Apartheid struggle. While Mandela and many political prisoners remained incarcerated in South Africa, other anti-Apartheid leaders fled South Africa and set up headquarters in a succession of supportive, independent African countries, including Guinea, Tanzania, Zambia, and neighboring Mozambique where they continued the fight to end Apartheid. It was not until the 1980s, however, that this turmoil effectively cost the South African state significant losses in revenue, security, and international reputation.

Apartheid Essays: Examples, Topics, Titles, & Outlines

Important Events In Africa: 1945-Present

The international community had begun to take notice of the brutality of the Apartheid regime after white South African police opened fire on unarmed black protesters in the town of Sharpeville in 1960, killing 69 people and wounding 186 others. The United Nations led the call for sanctions against the South African Government. Fearful of losing friends in Africa as de-colonization transformed the continent, powerful members of the Security Council, including Great Britain, France, and the United States, succeeded in watering down the proposals. However, by the late 1970s, grassroots movements in Europe and the United States succeeded in pressuring their governments into imposing economic and cultural sanctions on Pretoria. After the U.S. Congress passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986, many large multinational companies withdrew from South Africa. By the late 1980s, the South African economy was struggling with the effects of the internal and external boycotts as well as the burden of its military commitment in occupying Namibia.

Defenders of the Apartheid regime, both inside and outside South Africa, had promoted it as a bulwark against communism. However, the end of the Cold War rendered this argument obsolete. South Africa had illegally occupied neighboring Namibia at the end of World War II, and since the mid-1970s, Pretoria had used it as a base to fight the communist party in Angola. The United States had even supported the South African Defense Force’s efforts in Angola. In the 1980s, hard-line anti-communists in Washington continued to promote relations with the Apartheid government despite economic sanctions levied by the U.S. Congress. However, the relaxation of Cold War tensions led to negotiations to settle the Cold War conflict in Angola. Pretoria’s economic struggles gave the Apartheid leaders strong incentive to participate. When South Africa reached a multilateral agreement in 1988 to end its occupation of Namibia in return for a Cuban withdrawal from Angola, even the most ardent anti-communists in the United States lost their justification for support of the Apartheid regime.

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Apartheid backgroundms. scrolls ela classes free

The effects of the internal unrest and international condemnation led to dramatic changes beginning in 1989. South African Prime Minister P.W. Botha resigned after it became clear that he had lost the faith of the ruling National Party (NP) for his failure to bring order to the country. His successor, F W de Klerk, in a move that surprised observers, announced in his opening address to Parliament in February 1990 that he was lifting the ban on the ANC and other black liberation parties, allowing freedom of the press, and releasing political prisoners. The country waited in anticipation for the release of Nelson Mandela who walked out of prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990.

The impact of Mandela’s release reverberated throughout South Africa and the world. After speaking to throngs of supporters in Cape Town where he pledged to continue the struggle, but advocated peaceful change, Mandela took his message to the international media. He embarked on a world tour culminating in a visit to the United States where he spoke before a joint session of Congress.

Apartheid Backgroundms. Schroll's Ela Classes

After Prime Minister de Klerk agreed to democratic elections for the country, the United States lifted sanctions and increased foreign aid, and many of the U.S. companies who disinvested in the 1980s returned with new investments and joint ventures. In April 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected as South Africa’s first black president.