I’m happy about Curro

2015-02-08 15:00

The Curro school saga makes me happy. In this 21st year of our democracy, as we move into adulthood as a nation, even the private schools are beginning to reflect South African demographics, with white children in the minority.

Of course there is a great scrambling as the ship’s deck rights itself and everyone tries to find their new space.

It is still possible for white parents – who are prepared to pay enough money, or travel far enough – to find schools where their children will be in the majority. But overall, the pattern and balance is shifting. Many state schools already offer white pupils the opportunity to take up their rightful place as a minority.

Now it is happening in the private sector.

This will make a big difference in the lives of pupils. No longer will three or four black children in a class have to shoulder the burden of “proving” that black people can do maths/swim/write hauntingly beautiful English.

Now the boot is on the other foot, and it is the whites who must smash the stereotypes, demonstrating every day that all white people are not mean/deaf/monolingual.

Does diversity have a value other than teaching small children to recognise humanity beyond skin colour? Yes. What we need most in the 21st century, in South Africa and elsewhere, are innovative solutions.

Encountering other people, other ways of being in the world and being challenged by other views are all excellent ways to stimulate new thinking.

The thought that our children are beginning to be free to celebrate, laugh at and absorb all of this rich heritage, not from textbooks but from one another, makes me happy.

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