Parklands College in Cape Town has issued an apology after a teacher there included a task in an assignment for grade 7 learners that required them to create their own ad – to be placed in a fictional newspaper – announcing an upcoming slave auction.
The best ad was reportedly going to receive a slab of chocolate upon returning to school.
The assignment was shared on Facebook by concerned parent Sindisiwe Lulamile, along with the instructions given by the teacher.
Advertisements were placed in the 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 24th April 1830. You will have 30 minutes to create the advertisement and have it posted in the assignment link shared on Google class today. The person with the best advertisement will get a Cadbury slab of chocolate when you get back to school.
This is a fun activity and will not count for marks. Be creative and have some fun.“
Parklands College took to Instagram to issue an apology that has been criticised by many as being half-hearted and lacking accountability.
“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 activity was intended to establish awareness of the slave trade and the manner in which the slaves were treated, as well as to teach the learners about using resources. However, we acknowledge that the activity should have been worded differently,” said the school.
The comments under the Instagram post are filled with lengthy responses from parents of students at the school and other Instagram users criticising the school’s position, as well as the wording of the apology.
The post is also gaining traction on Twitter after poet and media personality Lebo Mashile shared a tweet along with images of the activity.