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The Politics of Bantu Education in South Africa: 1948-1994

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The study is a critical analysis of the content and quality of Bantu Education under apartheid. Bantu Education was implemented by the South African apartheid government as part of its general policy of separation and stratification of the races in society. This article, using historical-comparative methodology, examines the role of the state and ideology in education, and corresponding shifts in ideology and representations of schooling ‐ designed to train and fit Africans for their role in the evolving apartheid society. It is argued that Bantu Education was a system of schooling for low-skilled occupation and domestication. The study also examines how this policy directly affected the school curriculum, and access to schooling, in order to reinforce racial inequalities. The Apartheid regime advocated that native education should be based on the principle of trusteeship, non-equality, and segregation; its aim was to inculcate the white man’s view of life, especially that of the Boer nation (Afrikaners), which was the senior trustee.
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Keywords: Apartheid; Bantu Education Act; South Africa; education reform; ideology; racial inequality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • Political Crossroads is a bi-annual, international, refereed journal which, since 1990, publishes critical and empirical scholarship in political science and international relations. Its areas of focus include global security, terrorism, national identity, migration and citizenship, and the politics of resources and trade.
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