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Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 7. Tuesday, June 18, 1963

"Divide And Serve," Role For Bantus

page 3

"Divide And Serve," Role For Bantus

The Bantu people of South Africa are being educated to serve the needs of the "White Man Baas," not their own. Bantu Education is the education of the Negro in South Africa as distinct from the Coloured (mixed blood) and Asian populations of South Africa.

Prior to 1954. 99.8 per cent of Bantu education was in the hands of the missionary societies. They received Government subsidies for this purpose via the Provincial Education Boards. But the South African Government was not happy about this arrangement.

An official publication, "Progress of the Bantu People towards Nationhood, No. 2: Self-Development: Education," said:

"The large majority of those societies had their headquarters in foreign countries, thousands of miles away from the soils of South Africa, and this foreign, non-national rooting often resulted in bad environmental education . . . they were not taught the importance of soil and water conservation and related matters."

This sight, rare in South Africa was taken at one of the two non-racial universities in the country.

This sight, rare in South Africa was taken at one of the two non-racial universities in the country.

The writer continued: "It was realised that the Bantu could only be guided towards a higher spiritual and material existence if the anchoring roots of the true and the good and the beautiful in the people's own culture were preserved and fructified in response to the conditions of modern life."

The South African Government therefore passed the "Bantu Education Act" in 1954, vesting control of Bantu education in the Native Affairs Department. This move was presumably designed to ensure that the white Government would have complete control of the minds as well as the bodies of their Bantu subjects.

Three kinds of school for primary education now exist:
1.Government Bantu schools for the children of Bantu employed by the Government.
2.Bantu community schools established "wherever a stable Bantu community is in lawful occupation of an area such as a Bantu National Homeland, Bantu-owned farms in a scheduled area or in a proclaimed urban Bantu township."
3.State-aided farm schools established by white farmers, mine and factory schools, etc.

In all these schools religious instruction is compulsory (as it is at secondary levels also) and occupies approximately 1/13 of the total instruction time. This emphasis is clearly designed to promote docility in the Bantu masses. The medium of instruction is the Bantu language which the Bantu in the area happen to speak (there are seven such languages).

Bantu language study is retained for as long as possible in the child's career, it being impossible, however, to convey higher instruction in such an unsophisticated language. English and Afrikaans must therefore he resorted to (both having been taught right through from primary school).

The aim of this practice seems to be to keep the Bantu races linguistically distinct and disunited as far as possible.

Much emphasis is placed from the very beginning of the Bantu child's education (especially if the child is male), on handwork, gardening, etc, and on needlework for the girls. At secondary school there is increasing emphasis on carpentry, gardening and elementary agriculture.

There are 46 industrial schools and/or divisions with a total enrolment of 2000 in the Union. The aim of this bias towards trade education is twofold: (1) To equip the Bantu to serve the white man as a tradesman; and (2) As a means of implementing the Government's Bantustan project.

The latter project is to be realised as a number of "national homelands"—one for each of the seven main linguistic divisions (they are to be left separate). These states are to be "autonomous" and self-supporting—hence the need for tradesmen of all kinds to build and maintain municipalities in these areas. Eventually, it is hoped that the Bantu can all be shifted to these "Homelands"—thus out of the "white man's hair" and divided into seven. They will thus not be a solid force arrayed against the white man.

The white South Africans are much more subtle than were the Dutch in Indonesia in maintaining their dominant position. In their East Indies the Dutch merely prevented any learning from reaching the East Indian. In South Africa the Bantu are being educated in such a way that they can only serve the interests of the white man, and not their own interests. All this is being done at a minimum of expense to the white taxpayer.

The South African Government is using education to keep the Bantu a subject race. It is not being used to elevate him to educational and political parity with the whites.