Then and now: The legacy of Bantu education in South Africa

Students gather after classes at City Deep Adult Learning Centre (Briana Garrett/MEDILL)

By Briana Garrett
Medill Reports

For most of the twentieth century, South Africa functioned under the system of apartheid, a system that segregated South African peoples in every aspect of life, privileging whiteness above all. Through a series of laws, apartheid created deep economic disparities,  immense political disenfranchisement and social divides with rippling effects across generations.

Under apartheid, Bantu education was law permitting the use of race to dictate the quality of the curriculum and resources. Segregation was cemented in the education system and modern public education still grapples with rectifying its past. In an audio piece that explores the past and present of public education in South Africa, South African leaders in education lend their voices to narrate the future thereof.

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Photo at top: Students gather after classes at City Deep Adult Learning Center (Briana Garrett/MEDILL)