n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Onderwys in Suid-Afrika van 1961 tot 2011 : tussen twee paradigmas en ontwykende ideale - : navorsings- en oorsigartikel

Volume 51, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


Die doel van hierdie artikel is om die 50ste bestaansjaar van die te gedenk en om die vyftig jaar in verband te bring met onderwysvoorsiening in Suid-Afrika gedurende hierdie tydperk.

Onderwys in die tydperk 1961-2011 moet verstaan word binne die konteks van wat reeds voor 1961 plaasgevind het en daarom word enkele historiese momente van belang vir die onderwys voor 1961 uitgelig. In die tydperk voor 1994 is die voorsiening van onderwys oorheers deur die paradigma van afsonderlike maar gelyke onderwys - soos onder andere vergestalt deur die benadering van eie en algemene onderwyssake van die tagtigerjare. Die ideale van hierdie paradigma is nie bereik nie en onderwysvoorsiening was grootliks ongelyk en op ras gebaseer.
Sedert 1994 is die onderwys gekenmerk deur die menseregte- of transformasie-paradigma wat onder meer gelykheid, regstelling en toegang tot onderwysgeleenthede beklemtoon het. Nie een van hierdie paradigmas kon egter outentieke differensiëring in onderwysvoorsiening bewerkstellig nie. Die ongelykhede van voor 1994 het grootliks bly voortbestaan. Gapings tussen die prestasies van rassegroepe het nie vernou nie, hoewel die toegang tot onderwys dramaties verbeter het.
Die artikel bespreek brandpunte in onderwysvoorsiening in die betrokke tydperk en toon dat daar nog nie bevredigende oplossings gevind is vir uitdagings rakende onderwysersopleiding, die bestuur en beheer van onderwysinrigtings en die stelsel, die religieuse en kulturele aard van die onderwys en die rol wat onderwyserorganisasies behoort te speel nie.
Die artikel word afgesluit met 'n aanduiding van aspekte wat die sleutel tot die verbetering van onderwysvoorsiening kan wees.

This article forms part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the . It presents an overview of events and debates in education provision in South Africa during the period under review.
The article argues that education between 1961 and 2011 needs to be understood against the backdrop of what happened in the country even before 1961. It therefore lists and briefly discusses a number of pre-1961 historical events pertinent to education.
Before 1994, and from 1961 onward in particular, education in South Africa was dominated by the separate but equal paradigm, also espousing the principle of differentiated education to accommodate the learning needs of learners and the needs of the country.
The South Africa Act of 1909 set the tone for the exclusion of the so-called non-Whites from political and other processes. It allocated higher education to the Union Government and all other education to the four provincial governments. This period was characterised among others by the creation of advisory councils for non-White education and various levels of education institutions for non-Whites. Various investigations to explore possibilities regarding the provision of education for non-Whites like the Eiselen Commission were commissioned.
In 1948 the National Party assumed power and adopted the apartheid policy (separate development). The Bantu Education Act was promulgated soon after and it came to epitomise all that was objectionable about the separate but equal policy: unequal spending on children of different races and a curriculum designed to educate Black children for second class citizen status. It unleashed opposition to apartheid education that was not to stop before 1994. Separate educational laws for the education of Indians and Coloureds were introduced in the 1960s and the Education and Training Act was promulgated in the 1970s to regulate the education of all Black people inside "South Africa" and outside it in the self-governing territories that had been formed by that time.
In 1994 the ANC took over political power and immediately gave expression to the Freedom Charter notion that the doors of learning shall be opened to all. The ANC espoused what can be called a human rights (transformative or freedom) education paradigm built on the pillars of equality, access, redress, non-racialism, non-sexism and quality. It transformed the education system and created only one national education department with nine provincial departments and only two types of schools - public and independent schools.
The ANC introduced sweeping legislative and policy changes and changed the organisation, funding and governance of schools. Compulsory school attendance for all children was introduced and only one national school-end examination was put in place.
The article argues that neither the separate but equal nor the human rights paradigm achieved their ideals. This conclusion is reached by analysing the performance of the system, the training of teachers, the curriculum, the cultural and religious aspects of schooling, the role that unions play in education and the funding of education. It further concludes that too many schools remain dysfunctional and that many children do not yet have access to quality education despite the fact that participation in education has improved dramatically. The unique role of unions in South African governance and schooling is examined and their alleged disruptive rule regarding the management and governance of education is explored.
The main claim of the article is that participation in education has increased but that the performance of the system has not improved significantly. Previous gaps and inequalities seem to have remained and may even have widened.
The ideals pursued by the two paradigms in question remain elusive. There are, however, a number of keys that can be used to unlock the potential of the education system so that it may contribute its share to the well-being of the citizens of the country and to the welfare and development of the country as a whole.

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