Cape Town schoolteacher gives Grade 7 learners ‘slave trade auction’ activity – parents outraged

A child holds their hand up in classroom
A child holds their hand up in classroom
Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
    • A teacher at Parklands College in Cape Town asked Grade 7 learners to create an advert for a slave trade auction.
    • This activity has caused outrage and parents have called for the school to be reported to the department of education.
    • Parklands College has issued a statement in which they acknowledge that the task should have been worded differently.

    A school activity meant for Grade 7 learners at Parklands College in Cape Town has caused outrage on social media after a parent of one of the pupils shared it.

    In the activity, which was posted by the pupil’s mother, Sindisiwe Lulamile, on Sunday, a teacher asked learners to create an advert for a slave trade auction that would hypothetically be taking place.

    “Advertisements were placed in newspapers to advertise the slave auction that would be taking place. You will create an advertisement regarding a slave trade auction that will be taking place on Friday, 24 April 1835. You will have 30 minutes to create the assignment and have it posted in the assignment link shared on Google class today,” the instruction read before the reward for the activity was revealed.

    “The person with the best advertisement will get a Cadbury slab of chocolate when we get back to school.”

    The teacher also said that the activity was purely for fun and creativity and would not count towards the learners’ marks.

    The parent also shared photos of examples of adverts that the teacher had shared. In both adverts, the offensive term “Negroes” is visible.

    With 260 shares, 187 reactions and 56 comments, the post has sparked outrage with many people expressing their anger over the activity.

    “My biggest gripe with all this in general and the teacher in particular, is what else do the black kids deal with everyday that parents are not aware of? This’s just a tip of the iceberg. That blatant racist p*g should not be teaching any child,” Nelisiwe Nxumalo commented, while several other parents called for the school to be reported to the minister of education.

    “Without a doubt this must be reported to the Minister of education without delay,” Brian Thipe said.

    “This is just disgusting, please report the school and the teacher. My take on this is all private schools and model c schools are just racists in one form or the other,” Zakhele Zikhonjwa wrote.

    In response to the outrage, Parklands College issued out a statement on Instagram in which they say they have taken note of the incident.

    “We take note of the insensitive nature of the activity at the end of the Gr 7 presentation on the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The slide has been removed and the teacher has apologised for not thinking it through,” the statement read before it explained how the activity was meat to raise awareness.

    “The activity was intended to establish awareness of the slave trade and the manner in which the slaves were treated…we acknowledge that the activity should have been worded differently.”

    Read the full statement below.

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