20 April 2017

South Africa: Debunking Myths About South African History Curriculum

Photo: Lisa Baird/Pixabay
(file photo).

To make sure that a popular debate about the history curriculum and its Eurocentrism is informed by facts, I have created a cheat sheet for those interested in what the official government curriculum actually states.

I've heard some rumblings about changing the current history curriculum (again) and making history a compulsory subject up to matric (although I won't go into that issue here). Sometimes the calls have been less specific to history and have been limited to the general transformation of the school system, but the implication is around history teaching and learning. Reasons for concern about the current education system sometimes stem from the idea that the youth do not know their own struggle heroes because the "education system is Eurocentric" and "promotes white supremacy".

I'm all for a debate about whether the curriculum is Eurocentric or not, but it must be based on facts. I've heard people lament that African and South African history and events are not taught at schools, and that the curriculum focuses on European or Western history. From an official standpoint this is simply not true. It would be easy to direct people to study the curriculum itself, but let's be realistic, few people...

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