The population of the country is talented and hard working. In spite of these factors, the country faces hard core racism. The oppression of the white population over the blacks resulted in forced slavery and exploitation of land and human beings (Abdi, 2002, p. vii). The apartheid period continued for over four decades in South Africa and in that period race discrimination was ruthlessly implemented in schools and they were highly effective. It is a monumental task for the government to undo the effects of apartheid from the education system (Fiske and Ladd, 2005, p.14). This paper focuses on the apartheid system in South Africa and its impact on the education policies. Background History of Apartheid in South Africa In the seventeenth century the Dutch descendants who were knows as Boers or Afrikaners were dominated by the English. This was followed by establishment by the Dutch of new colonies like Orange Free State and Transvaal. In the year1900, diamonds were excavated in these regions. This led to the Boer war when the English invaded these lands. The conflict centering on power sharing between the English and the Boers remained till the 1940s when the Afrikaners National Party became stronger. To control the economic and social system, the National party invented the apartheid system. Initially the goal of apartheid was to maintain the minority rule of the white and curtailing the rights of the black population. Racial discrimination was given a formal shape when the apartheid laws were enacted in 1948. In 1950, the South African people were classified into three racial groups which were white, black (African) or colored (mixed decent). The colored group mainly contained the Indians and the Asians. Apartheid laws led to segregation of every aspect of social life which included education and medical care. Public services provided to the black people were inferior to those provided to the white people. Marriage was prohibited between the whites and the non-white groups. Residential areas were segregated by forceful removal of the black population. These laws were strongly implemented and anyone who did not abide by the laws was given harsh punishments. The Blacks were required to carry identity proof to enter into the non-black areas (The History of Apartheid in South Africa, n.d.). In 1953, Bantu Education Act was passed to segregate the education system of South Africa by which the Blacks were denied education leading to certain positions in the society. The Blacks were prepared to lead the lives of labour class (O’Malley, n.d.). Analysis Impact of Apartheid system on Education One of the most oppressive laws of apartheid was the Bantu Education Act of 1953. Before the Act was implemented most schools in Africa were missionary schools and were partly funded by the State. Under this Act education system was segregated and most schools began to be controlled by the government. Governments began to put forward conditions to schools to start racially discriminatory curriculum before agreeing to provide financial aid. As protest many missionary schools did not allow extension of apartheid system in their education system and chose to close down. This system of bringing all schools under the control of the new government was faced opposition from school organisers, parents and students. The major subject of the protests was to ban the separate education system for the Black and promote a common education system for the entire population of South Africa. The government which was controlled by the whites declared that the structure of Bantu education was such that the blacks will be trained to become labours ignoring what other abilities
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