The Congress of South African Trade Unions reaffirms its total opposition to any form of racial segregation in schools, which has been shown to have been taking place at the Curro private school in Pretoria.
Two weeks ago, a group of black parents signed a petition against the school, claiming they were unhappy that their children were in a class with only black children, and white children were being kept together. This was happening from Grade R. In addition all the school’s teachers were white. The parents accused the school of stunting transformation and creating unequal education.
At first the regional manager of the school’s owners, Curro Holdings, Andreacute Pollard, denied that the school was racially segregating its pupils, and made the lame excuse that the classes were divided not ldquobecause we would like to segregate the whites, it is just because of friends. Children are able to make friends with children of their culture.rdquo
Just as in the days of apartheid, lsquoculture’ is being used as a fig-leaf to disguise racism.
Now the school has admitted, and apologised for, separating students according to race. Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says: ldquoThe school embraces and accepts that they’ve made a mistake and they will rectify it… What has happened in this school is now history. Integration of learners will happen immediately.rdquo
COSATU agrees with him that: ldquoThere is no justification for the utterances made. They were unfortunate… I will not allow a Grade R learner to be reminded of apartheid. I will not allow any child to be reminded of where we come fromrdquo. We call on him to monitor what happens in the school to make sure that the promised integration takes place.
The children of the working class and the poor already suffer from the two-tier education system which provides world-class education for a small, still mainly white elite, alongside a under-resourced, and totally inadequate system for the poor, and overwhelmingly black, majority.
There is thus already an in-built form of class-based racism, which is compounded when schools like Curro institutionalise racism. This highlights the urgency to complete the transformation of the entire education system, in order to align it with the call in the Freedom Charter that ldquoEducation shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all childrenrdquo.
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Streets
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct 010 219-1339
Fax: +27 11 339-6940
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions