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n South African Journal of Cultural History - Farm schools as learning centres : excerpts from the minute book of the , 1908-1938

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Abstract

In the rural areas of South Africa, farm schools provided basic education for generations of pupils for many decades. During the decades before and following the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), farm schools formed the backbone of teaching in these areas. The circumstances under which the farm schools operated were difficult, with pupils of all ages and different grades often being accommodated in a single room. In the decades following the Anglo-Boer War in particular, poverty was widespread and school committees frequently had to deal with requests for free books, free clothing and even food.


In this article, conditions in and the background to farm schools are sketched with a specific focus on the . This school was founded in 1908 and was situated on the farm near Theunissen in the Winburg district. The source on which this research is based, is the minute book of the school committee, which was kept for a period of 30 years. The minute book provides good insight into the activities of the school and the daily problems that were encountered in the small community. The socio-economic circumstances of the majority of the pupils, mostly children from the nearby station, make for poignant reading. In addition, the hardships involved in teaching and in exposing the pupils to culture, are evident from the entries that were made in the minute book.


Plaasskole op die Suid-Afrikaanse platteland het baie dekades lank basiese onderrig aan geslagte kinders verskaf. Plaasskole in die era net voor en in die dekades wat op die Anglo-Boereoorlog (1899-1902) gevolg het, was die ruggraat van onderwys in dié gebiede. Die omstandighede waarin plaasskole gefunksioneer het, was alles behalwe ideaal, met kinders van alle ouderdomme en verskillende grade wat dikwels in net een vertrek onderrig is. Veral in die dekades ná die Anglo-Boereoorlog was armoede wydverspreid en skoolkomitees moes voortdurend versoeke om gratis boeke, klere en selfs kos hanteer. In dié artikel word die historiese omstandighede waarin plaasskole ontstaan en ontwikkel het, as agtergrond geskets. Daarna verskuif die fokus na die aktiwiteite van die . Dié skool is in 1908 op die plaas (Theunissen) in die distrik Winburg gestig. Die bron vir die doeleindes van die artikel is die notuleboek van die skoolkomitee wat vir 'n tydperk van 30 jaar gehou is. Die notuleboek bied 'n interessante insae in die aktiwiteite en die daaglikse probleme waarmee die klein gemeenskap geworstel het. Die sosio-ekonomiese omstandighede van die meeste kinders, wat van die stasie afkomstig was, skets 'n hartseer verhaal. Die problematiek om onderrig, maar ook kulturele blootstelling aan die kinders te verskaf, blyk duidelik uit die inskrywings wat in die notuleboek gemaak is.

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/content/culture/25/2/EJC30809
2011-11-01
2016-12-08
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