|You are here:||About>Education>African History> Region: Southern Africa> South Africa> African History: 16 June Soweto Uprising: The Afrikaans Medium Decree|
The South African Minister of Bantu Education and Development, MC Botha, issued a decree in 1974 that made the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in black schools compulsory from Standard 5 onwards [from the last year of primary school to the last year of high school]. The African Teachers Association (ATASA) launched a campaign against the policy, but the authorities implemented it anyway.
Northern Transvaal Region
The Deputy Minister of Bantu Education, Punt Janson, said: "No, I have not consulted the African people on the language issue and I'm not going to. An African might find that 'the big boss' only spoke Afrikaans or only spoke English. It would be to his advantage to know both languages." Another official was quoted as saying: "If students are not happy, they should stay away from school since attendance is not compulsory for Africans."
The Department of Bantu Education said that because the government paid for black education, it had the right to decide on the language of instruction. In fact, only white education was totally subsidised by the government. Black parents in Soweto paid R102 (an average month's wages) a year to send two children to school, had to buy textbooks (which were issued free in white schools), and had to contribute towards the cost of building schools.
|All Topics | Email Article | ||
|Advertising Info | News & Events | Work at About | SiteMap | Reprints | Help||Our Story | Be a Guide|