oa Alternation - The potential of school libraries for promoting less polarised social relations in the post-apartheid era

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



The aim of this paper is to highlight the potential school libraries have in promoting less polarised social relations in post apartheid South Africa. The role of the school library as an integral part of the education system is discussed. Under apartheid school library facilities were available mainly to white children and this was a feature of an elitist and racist education system which helped to reinforce and promote racially polarized inequalities. In the post apartheid era library facilities are being introduced in schools in black areas. These libraries provide skills and help empower black children and - create opportunities for them to pursue education and better themselves. The provision of library facilities in black schools is part of a process of democratising educational resources, and is important for promoting a society which is less racially polarised in terms of opportunities and resources. However, education policy makers in contemporary South Africa have failed to recognise the potential of school libraries for helping children from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds to develop intellectual and emotional skills and to empower and better themselves.

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