Racism, anti-ANC bias at public schools not the norm - education dept

2017-04-19 19:04
Angie Motshekga. (Nico Gous, Netwerk24)

Angie Motshekga. (Nico Gous, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The Department of Basic Education says any racially or politically biased episodes at public and former model C schools are isolated incidents, and not as a result of the curriculum.

The department released a statement on Tuesday which appeared to contradict ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's assertions that learners at former model C schools were "taught against the ANC".

The statement was based on a task team report handed to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga this month, which has been evaluating textbooks and other learning materials since February.

"While the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) clearly outline what should be taught in schools, some teachers have, however, been found to have overstepped the boundaries," spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said.

"Where such incidents had taken place, such as teachers using racial slurs on others, swift action had been taken against the implicated teachers, he said.

"It must be stressed that, where such isolated incidents have taken place, these do not arise as a result of a defined norm or practice of a particular school, nor a dictate from the CAPS."

It is, rather, individual teachers who tended to do so, the statement added. Motshekga would receive the full report at the end of the year.

Mhlanga stressed that CAPS was based on the principles of social transformation, equal educational opportunities, and ensuring the ills of apartheid were addressed.

DA MP Gavin Davies welcomed Motshekga's statement on Wednesday, and claimed it was a clear sign that the minister disagreed with Dlamini-Zuma.

"[Motshekga's statement] is a polite way of saying that Dlamini-Zuma was talking rubbish," he said on Wednesday.

"If learners believe that the ANC is corrupt, it is not because of an anti-ANC propaganda campaign being waged in public schools. It is because evidence of ANC corruption is all around us."

'Kids taught at schools that ANC is corrupt'

On Thursday, Dlamini-Zuma raised concerns over what she termed a negative narrative against the governing party, saying it was perpetuated at schools and universities.

"They [kids] are actually taught against the ANC," Dlamini-Zuma said in Zamdela in the Free State.

"It’s not surprising that kids will think the ANC is corrupt‚ [or that the] ANC is useless, because this is what they are fed at school."

She alleged that some universities, such as the University of the Witwatersrand, refused to allow their students to call South Africa a democracy.

She claimed most schools would only say there is democracy and freedom in South Africa once another party took over.

ANC members needed to constantly be aware of the balance of power, and could not allow a leadership vacuum to form in the party and in government.

"We must be honest when we analyse what's going on. We can't not admit that the organisation is weak at this point in time," she said.

Once we are weak and once we are divided, we cannot mobilise and unite society, she added.

Read more on:    anc  |  nkosazana ­dlamini zuma  |  angie mothsekga  |  education

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