“I will reform it [black education] so that Natives will be taught from childhood to realize that equality with Europeans is not for them.”
- Hendrik Verwoerd, at the introduction of the Bantu Education Act of 1953
Under apartheid, with the passage of the Bantu Education Act, Black schools no longer studied the same syllabuses as non-black schools. English, which had been the most common medium of instruction, was stopped in primary schools and limited in secondary schools. The Bantu Affairs Department had to approve teachers, and also controlled the local school boards consisting of parents and officials - which managed the everyday running of schools. By denying the majority population access to math and science education and limiting their educational opportunities to those that would prepare them to serve the white population and nothing more, the apartheid regime effectively prevented millions of South Africans from reaching their potential. When the new democratic government took over in 1994, it faced the mammoth task of reversing and redressing the impact of Bantu education. To assist in this effort, SA Partners has focused on promoting literacy, training teachers, and establishing school libraries.
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