on (Bantu) Education

John McCann: Illu zu Martin Prews Artikelserie“It is a simple fact: if schooling in Africa was a commercial enterprise, it would have been closed down because of low output and low levels of efficiency. Equally, if children could vote in elections, schools would have been closed by popular acclaim for largely failing to deliver on their promises.
I want to argue in this three-article series that schooling as currently conceived is an inappropriate and highly inefficient way of replicating the elite, because it sacrifices most children. Equally, it cannot be the basis for growing an educated, enterprising society. I will look at why this is the case and what can be done about it by exploring how schooling should at least be reformed.”
So beginnt der 3teiligen Artikelserie von Martin Prew, Education development specialist, visiting fellow an der University Witwatersrand’s school of education in: mail & guardian,  October 19 to 25 2012, Vol. 28, No. 42 ff.
Prew identifziert beginnend begangene Fehler:
“So where has all this gone wrong? First, we make a mistake in equating schooling with education — we tend to conflate the two. This is fatal. Schooling in most African countries is a mechanical, factory-era child-containment process at worst. At best schooling is often a process whereby a tired, disillusioned teacher dictates notes to serried ranks of children who are rarely invited to engage with the contents of the lesson and lack the books or internet access to explore further for themselves.
Furthermore, almost all schools in Africa fail to value indigenous know-ledge or any other prior learning with which children arrive at school. Often the knowledge that is taught is foreign to the children, cannot be used in their daily lives and is all too often presented in an exogenous language, such as English, which the children struggle to access.”

Prew sieht eine verfehlte Schulsprach-Politik am Werk, die nicht zuletzt mit Sponsoren aus dem Norden zusammenhängt:
“Perhaps the most important cause is language. Children have succeeded in schools with few books, no desks and no proper classrooms – but no child succeeds if he or she does not understand the language used for teaching. A recent study in South Africa indicated that a significant proportion of grade six pupils could only understand the language of teaching with difficulty.
But language is only part of the challenge for many rural and peri-urban pupils. Schooling systems in Africa fail to respond to the culture, interests and realities of most children from the majority culture – there is a serious language and culture gap between most pupils and schools. (…) At the same time, oral tradition is being lost because schooling devalues it. (…) Obviously, building the vocabulary, texts and concepts in all African languages is a huge task, but experiments with Afrikaans, Yoruba and Ethiopian languages show it can be done. It requires political commitment, some funds and co-operative publishing houses. Unfortunately, all too often Western and Arabic donors and publishing houses have a vested interest in getting children learning in the exogenous language because it is easier to fund and justify back home. And government members who succeeded in the present system see no reason to change a system in which their own children will be the winners.” (Quelle)

Prew schlägt vor, sich an den Modellen von “liberation schools” und den unter dem Namen Bangladesh rural advancement committe (Brac) bekannten Initiativen zu orientieren:
“Liberation schools were set up across Southern Africa during the wars of liberation. They often used semi-trained teachers, taught appropriate subjects and skills, had a minimum of resources and specifically developed textbooks presenting alternative history and interpretation. They usually had a strong production arm through which children learned farming and other productive skills. Such schools were marginalised after independence by the elite.
The Brac schools were developed successfully in Bangladesh since the 1970s. They are usually small, made of local materials and have no fences, allow considerable community involvement in the curriculum and are staffed with local, usually young, female teachers who have undergone short but intensive training in classroom pedagogy and management.
The teaching is exclusively in home language to grade three, using low-cost, locally produced teaching and learning materials with a strong focus on appropriate cultural material and oral tradition. Numeracy is based on scenarios that are relevant to the pupils. The aim is to ensure that by grade three all pupils can read, write, enumerate and understand their culture and heritage.”
Prew kommt zum Schluß:
“Each country, including South Africa, with regional support through such bodies as the Southern African Development Community, needs to undertake research into alternatives to the status quo and test those alternatives — the lack of such tested alternatives is one of our biggest problems in reforming schooling systems. In doing so, pre-colonial and liberationist forms of schooling need to be reviewed for the lessons they can provide in the use of indigenous knowledge, structure, community involvement and teacher preparation. It should lead to radical changes in the funding, staffing, support, accountability measures, language policy and integration of indigenous knowledge into the curriculum. Without such radical action, I am afraid, we will see our public schooling ­systems continue to slide, with dire economic and social consequences for the continent.” (Quelle)

Suedafrika: Ambacher/KhanBantu Education
Der 1953 verabschiedete Bantu Education Act war Teil dder Apartheidsgesetzgebung. Er schuf die rechtliche Grundlage für ein segregiertes Bildungssystem. Für ‘Bantu’ – im Sinne des Gesetzes ‘a member o any aboriginal race or tribe in Africa’ – wurde ein getrenntes System von unterfinanzierten, schlecht ausgestatteten Bildungseinrichtungen geschaffen, das lediglich ein minderwertige, insbesondere auf ungelernte Tätigkeiten vorbereitende ‘Bildung’ vermittelte. Die bis dato von Missionar_innen und religiösen Gruppen betriebenen Bildungseinrichtungen wurden in die Hoheit des südafrikanischen Staates überführt, wodurch dieser sich die Kontrolle über Lehrpersonal und Lehrinhalte sicherte. Finanzielle Unterstützung durch den Apartheids-Staat wurde an die Einführung eines nach Apartheid-Bevölkerungsgruppen diskriminierenden Curriculums gebunden.”
aus: Glossar. in: Jens Erik Ambacher/Romin Khan (Hg.): Südafrika. Die Grenzen der Befreiung. Berlin/Hamburg 2010. S. 255.
“Bantu-Education”as additional element in supplying a “cheap reserve labour army”, remember: “And, in fact, a condition of poverty and near-starvation in the Reserves is welcomed by the mining-magnates, the farmers and other employers of African labour, who regard hunger and destitution as their main allies and recruiting agents for a bigger and cheaper supply of labour-power.” siehe hier.

Robert Ross: South AfricaRobert Ross: A Concise History of South Africa. Second Edition. Cambridge University Press 2008
“The developments here (“black education”, Anm. J.K.) were ambivalent. Before 1948, black education had been almost exclusively in the hands of the missions, although the government paid teachers’ salaries. A few of the schools were the highest class, as was the University of Fort Hare, to which a fortunate few could aspire. Against this, the numbers involved at the peak of education were miniscule. in 1949, for instance, there were no more than 284 African students, out of 343 in total, at Fort Hare, and no more than half as many scattered through the country’s other universities. IN general, black education was underfunded. The mass of black schools were thoroughly ramshackle, and in any case only catered for a small proportion of potential pupils. Approximately 30 per cent of children between the ages of seven and sixteen attended school in 1949, for instance.
The Verwoerdian initiative promoting what became known as Bantu education had a double effect. On the one hand, it brought African education firmly under control of the state. The school system was consciously used to spread the message of apartheid. The ethos pervading educational policy, at least outside the reserves, was that African education should be limited to those skills valuable for the maintenance of the white-run economy, and the emphasis was on the basic skills learnt in the first four years at school. On the other hand, the number of those who participated in education – enjoyed is surely the wrong word here – increased very substantially. In a few areas of South Africa, notably parts of the highly missionised Eastern Cape, the levels of literacy had been very high, perhaps 80 per cent, and diminished considerably after the introduction after the introduction of Bantu education. In general, though, an ever greater proportion of Africans acquired some degree of literacy and numeracy. Surprisingly large numbers went on to secondary school and, after the foundation of specifically black universities, to higher education as well. By the mid-1980s, after four decades of apartheid, the number of black students at universities was sixty times that of the later 1940s (ninety times if those studying by correspondence at the University of South Africa are included). Over the country as a whole, the proportion of African children attending school is estimated to have risen to 50 per cent in 1976, and probably to 1985 per cent by the early 1990s. What this all meant in terms of functional literacy is difficult to say. In 1995, 80 per cent of black adults – and 40 per cent of whites – failed a test of functional literacy and numeracy, at a level more or less equivalent to seven years of schoolong, which meant that about half of those, both black and white, who had completed such scholling had lost the skills supposedly acquired there.(S. 130f).

“Until then (after 1973), there had been no economic imperative to convert the country’s low-skilled, low-paid labour force into one whose productivity could rival that of, for instance, those economies of South-east Asia, which were industrialising fast. As it was, Bantu education, was specifically intended to keep the level of Africans’ advancement, and thus of Africans’ skills, low. Only from the early 1970s was there an expansion of African education, although the emphasis was probably on quantity rather than quality. The depressed economy after 1970 could not absorb the school-leavers.” (S. 142f)

“Apartheid destroyed the old system of mission education, which provided a high level of education for a tiny elite but also attained something approaching mass literacy in a few select areas. It also inculcated political values common to the political class of all backgrounds, and the ending of apartheid occurred only just in time to allow people still bought up this tradition the chance to bind the country together again. In the place of the liberal paternalism of the mission schools, the government provided a mass education of a quality that was nearly useless to the modern world. The basic statistic a clear. Of the 200.000 African children entered school in 1950, 362 (fewer than two per 1,000) passed matriculation, the qualification for university entrance, twelve years later. (…) Funding (for black education in the Bantustans, Anm. J.K.) remained abysmal. In the mid-1970s the government provided R41,80 for each black schoolchild, just 6.5 per cent of the amount granted to each white scholar. in the course of the next decade, this percentage increased to just under twenty. Most African children went to school for a while, but over half left at most four years of schooling, when they were still, at best, semi-literate. School-classes were vast, with teacher:pupil ratio in primary schools for one to forty-four in 1988. The teachers themselves were ill-trained; only just over half had the minimum necessary educational qualification. Moreover, they were often working a double shift so as to accommodate the maximum number of pupils, albeit at a minimum level.
In these circumstances, the only strategy for both teachers and pupils was to eschew any form of independence of mind or analytical thinking in favour of rote learning, enforced by a discipline based on the cane. In this way, pupils had a chance of sliding through to give themselves a better chance on the job market. However, subjects amenable to such learning methods were avoided, in part because the teachers themselves were not able to cope with them. Thus, even by the 1990s there were scarcely more than 2000 Africans a year who passed mathematics at matriculation level. This was not the way to create a dynamic labour force.
At the same time, independence of mind could not be eliminanted. Rather, by default, it was channelld into political action. A generation of children spent their youth challenging the political system under the slogan “Liberation Now! Education Later!” Perhaps it was necessary, and it was certainly understandable, but it costs, among the many genuine costs of apartheid, were enormous.” (172f)

Steven Biko: I write what I like (Picador, 40th).Zitate aus:
Steve Biko: I write what i like. Johannesburg 2012. (Original: 1978, hg. von Aelred Stubbs und Hugh Lewin)

Black Souls in White Skins? (1970)
„(…). Does this mean that I am against integration? If by integration you understand a breakthrough into white society by blacks, an assimilation and acceptance of blacks into an already established set of norms and code of behaviour set up by and maintained by whites, then YES I am against it. I am against the superior-inferior white-black stratification that makes the white a perpetual teacher and the black a perpetual pupil (and a poor one at that). I am against intellectual arrogance of white people that makes them believe that white leadership is a sine qua non in this country and that whites are divinely appointed pace-setters in progress. I am against the fact that a settler minority should impose an entire system of values on an indigenous people. If on the other hand by integration you mean there shall be free participation by all members of a society, catering for the full expression of the self in a freely changing society as determined by the will of the people, then I am with you. For one cannot escape the fact that the culture shared by the majority group in any given society must ultimately determine the broad direction taken by the joint culture of that society. This need not cramp the style of those who feel differently but on the whole, a country in Africa, in which the majority of the people are African must inevitably exhibit African values and be truly African in style.”(S. 26)
“The liberal must understand that the days of the Noble Savage are gone; that the blacks do not need a go-between in this struggle for their own emancipation. No true liberal should feel any resentment at the growth of black consciousness. Rather, all true liberals should realize that the place for their fight for justice is within their white society. The liberals must realise that they themselves are oppressed if they are true liberals and therefore they must fight for their own freedom and not that of the nebulous ‘they’ with whom they can hardly claim identification. The liberal must apply himself with absolute dedication to the idea of educating his white brothers that the history of the country may have to be rewritten at some stage and that we may live in ‘a country where colour will not serve to put a man in a box.’” (S. 27)

We Blacks (1970)
“The logic behind white domination is to prepare the black man for the subservient role in this country. Not so long ago this used to be freely said in parliament even about the educational system of the black people. It is still said even today, although in a much more sophisticated language.”(S. 30)
“The first step therefore is to make the black man come to himself. to pump back life into his empty shell; to infuse him with pride and dignity, to remind hi of his complicity in the crime of allowing himself to be misused and therefore letting evil reign supreme in the county of his birth. This is what we mean by an inward-looking process. This is the definition of ‘Black Consciousness’. One writer (Frantz Fanon?, Anm. J.K.) makes the point that in an effort to destroy completely the structures that had been built up in the African Society and to impose their imperialism with an unnerving totality the colonialists were not satisfied merely with holding a people in their grip and emptying the Native’s brain of all form and content, they turned to the past of the oppressed people and distorted, disfigured and destroyed it. No longer was reference made to African culture, it became barbarism. Africa was the ‘dark continent’. (…) No wonder the African child learn to hate his heritage in his days at school. So negative is the image presented to him that he tends to find solace only in close identification with white society.
No doubt, therefore, part of the approach envisaged in bringing about ‘black consciousness’ has to be directed to the past, to seek to rewrite the history of the black man and to produce in it the heroes who form the core of the African background. To the extent that a vast literature about Ghandi in South Africa is accumulating it can be said that the Indian community already has started in this direction. But only scant reference is made to African heroes. A people without a positive history is like a vehicle without an engine.”(S. 31f)
“Obviously the only path open for us now is to redefine the message in the bible and to make it relevant to the struggling masses. The bible must not be seen  to preach that is a sin to allow oneself to be oppressed. (…) This is the message implicit in ‘black theology’.”
(S. 34)

Some African Cultural Concepts (1971)
“I am also against the belief that when one talks of African culture one is necessarily talking of the pre-Van Riebeeck culture. Obviously the African culture has had to sustain severe blows and may have been battered nearly out of shape by the belligerent cultures it collided with, yet in essence even today one can easily find the fundamental aspects of the pure African culture in the present day African. Hence in taking a look at African culture I am going to refer as well to what I have termed the modern African culture. One of the most fundamental aspects of our culture is the importance we attach to Man. Ours has always been a Man-centred society. (…) We belief in the inherent goodness of man. We enjoy man for himself. (…) Hence I all we do we always place Man first and hence all our action is usually joint community oriented action rather than the individualism which is the hallmark of the capitalist approach. We always refrain from using people as stepping stones. Instead we are prepared to have a much slower progress in an effort to make sure that all of us are marching to the same tune.” (S. 45f)
“The advent of the Western Culture has changed our outlook almost drastically. No more could we run our own affairs. We were required to fit in as people tolerated with great restraint in a western type society. We were tolerated simply because our cheap labour is needed. Hence we are judged in terms of standards we are not responsible for. (…) We reject the power-based society of the Westerner that seems to be ever concerned with perfecting their technological know-how while losing out on their spiritual dimension. We believe that in the long run the special contribution to the world by Africa will be in this field of human relationship. The great powers of the world may have done wonders in giving the world an industrial and military look, but the great gift still has to come from Africa – giving the world a more human face.” (S. 51)

The Definition of Black Consciousness (1971)
“Further implications of Black Consciousness are to do with correcting false images of ourselves in terms of Culture, Education, Religion, Economics. The importance of this also must not be understated. There is always an interplay between the history of a people i.e. the past, and their faith in themselves and hopes for their future. We are aware of the terrible role played by our education and religion in creating amongst us a false understanding of ourselves. (S. 57)

White Racism and Black Consciousness (1971)
“The philosophy of Black Consciousness , therefore, expresses group pride and the determination  by the blacks to rise and attain the envisaged self.  At the heart of this kind of thinking is the realization by the blacks that the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor  is the mind of the oppressed. Once the latter has been effectively manipulated and controlled by the oppressor as to make the oppressed believe that he is a liability to the white man, then there will be nothing the oppressed can do that will really scare the powerful masters.” (S. 74)
“The traditional inferior-superior black-white complexes are deliberate creations of the colonialist. Through the work of missionaries and the style of education adopted, the blacks were made to feel that the white man was some kind of god whose word could not be doubted. As Fanon puts it: ‘Colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the Native’s brain of all form and content; by a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it.’ At the end of it all, the blacks have nothing to lean on, nothing to cheer them up at the present moment and very much to be afraid of in the future.
The attitude of some rural African folk who are against education is often misunderstood, not least by the African intellectual. Yet the reasons put forward by these people carry with them the realization of their inherent dignity and worth. They see education as the quickest way of destroying the substance of the African culture. They complain bitterly of the disruption in the life pattern, non-observation of customs, and constant decision from the non-conformists whenever any of them go through school. Lack of respect for the elders is, in the African tradition, an unforgivable and cardinal sin. Yet how can one prevent loss of respect of child for father when the child is actively taught by his know-all white tutors to disregard his family’s teaching? How can an African avoid losing respect for his tradition when school his whole cultural background is summed up in one word: barbarism? (…)
They have deliberately arrested our culture at the tribal stage to perpetuate the myth that African people were near-cannibals, had no real ambitions in life, and were preoccupied with sex and drink. In fact the wide-spread vice often found in the African townships is a result of the interference of the White man in the natural evolution of the true native culture. ‘Whenever colonization is a fact, the indigenous culture begins to rot and among the ruins something begins to be born which is condemned to exist on the margin allowed it by the European culture.’ It is trough the evolution of our genuine culture that our identity can be fully rediscovered.” (S. 76f)

Black Consciousness and the Quest for a True Humanity (1973)
“Stupidly enough, the system turns back to say that blacks are inferior because they have no economists, no engineers, etc., although it is made impossible for blacks to acquire these skills.” (S. 97)
“At the heart of this kind of thinking is the realisation by blacks that the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. If one is free at heart, no man-made chains can bind one in servitude, but if one’s mind is so manipulated and controlled by the oppressor as to make the oppressed believe that he is a liability to the white man, then there will be nothing the oppressed can do to scare his powerful masters. Hence thinking along lines of Black Consciousness makes the black man see himself as a being complete in himself. It makes him less dependent and more free to express his manhood. At the end of it all he cannot tolerate attempts by anybody to dwarf the significance of his manhood.” (S. 102)
“A long look should also be taken at the educational system for blacks. The same tense situation was found as long ago as the arrival of the missionaries. Children were taught, under the pretext of hygiene, good manners and other such vague consepts, to despise their mode of upbringing at home and to question the values and customs of their society. The result was the expected one – children and parents saw life differently and the former lost respect for the latter. Now in African society is a cardinal sin for a child to lose respect for his parent. (…) Who can resist losing respect for his tradition when in schools his whole cultural background is summed up in one world – barbarism?
Thus we can immediately see the logic of placing the missionaries in the forefront of the colonization process. A man who succeeds in making a group of people accept a foreign concept in which he is expert makes them perpetual students whose progress in the particular field can only be evaluated by him; the student must constantly turn to him for guidance and promotion. In being forced to accept the Anglo-Boer culture, the blacks have allowed themselves to be at the mercy of the white man to have him as their eternal supervisor. Only he can tell us how good our performance is and instinctively each of us is at pains to please this powerful, all-knowing master. This is what Black Consciousness seeks to eradicate.”  (S. 105)

Ninthe & Zuluboy: The World is Yours (weiß noch nicht genau, was ich davon halten soll)

Brett MurrayBrett Murray (Detail)Brett Murray, Surfboard; gesehen bei: Wavescape Surfboard Art Exhibition, Woodstock Exchange, 66 Albert Road, Cape Town (1.12.2012)

Brett Murray ist der Produzent des umstrittenen “The Spear” – siehe dazu eine Kritik von Archille Mbembe: “To pretend to critique contemporary forms of patriarchy with the categories used in the past to dehumanise the black man is, at best, stupid – a cruel lack of imagination.”

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