Editorials 19.6.2015 02:10 pm

Schools must not have racial image

It is sad that 21 years after Nelson Mandela said that never again would we see one race segregate itself from another, we still see racial furores almost weekly. His was a speech of hope. Hope sadly dissipates very fast when it becomes clear race remains an issue that divides this country like it does few others.

Earlier this year Curro Roodeplaat school was under fire for racial segregation. The story was as bizarre as it was sad: a school in the new South Africa in the headlines for a racial act. Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi had said the school’s licence was up for review. Despite that, a video emerged on Facebook showing white children shuttled off a bus one way and a group of black children another way.

The school responded, claiming that it is misinterpretation, as the separation happened along the lines of English and Afrikaans pupils, as the school is dual medium. Most blacks, they say, want to learn in English, and most whites in Afrikaans.

While we accept the video may have been filmed out of context, in a country that is almost a quarter of a century into democracy, seeing small children separated into groups clearly identifiable by race is alarming, not least because of the controversy surrounding the school in the first place.

If it is true the parents of white and black children want their kids to learn in Afrikaans and English respectively, and that is their right, then it is the school’s responsibility to make sure integration happens despite this. Otherwise, all that is happening is the same thing all over again.

It is a very complicated situation regarding the languages, but there needs to be a solution urgently. The saddest part of all is little children do not even see colour. It is the parents and adults that do.

Read More: Curro caught in racial furore again

 

today in print