The school curriculum since apartheid: intersections of politics and policy in the South African transition

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In the wake of South Africa's first non-racial elections in 1994, the new Minister of Education launched a national process which would purge the apartheid curriculum of its most offensive racial content and outdated, inaccurate subject matter. At a first glance these essential alterations to school syllabuses sounded reasonable and timely, given the democratic non-racial ideals of the new government. However, these syllabus alterations had little to do with changing the school curriculum and much more to do with a precarious crisis of legitimacy facing the state and education in the months following the national elections. The haste with which the state pursued a superficial cleansing of the inherited curriculum is explained in terms of the political constraints, conflicts and compromises which accompanied the South African transition from apartheid.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1999

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