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Schools should be laboratories of nation building

Media reports have indicated that almost 30 parents have signed a petition demanding to know why some classes are made up of exclusively black children, while white pupils are kept together.

JOHANNESBURG – The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation notes with concern reports related to allegations of racial segregation at the Curro Foundation School in Roodeplaat.

Media reports have indicated that almost 30 parents have signed a petition demanding to know why some classes are made up of exclusively black children, while white pupils are kept together.

The Kathrada Foundation’s Director, Neeshan Balton, said that the reports presented a shocking indication of the “persistence of racism in post-apartheid South Africa”.

“The justification of needing to enable leaners to maintain their cultures is exactly the kind of arguments put forth to justify apartheid, and has no scientific or educational basis,” Balton said.

He extended his congratulations to the parents who took up the issue, and refused to accept the ‘separate but equal’ arguments put forth by the school management.

The Kathrada Foundation also welcomed the Gauteng Department of Education’s (GDE) statement, that it would be probing the matter.

“Reports on radio appear to indicate that this may not be an isolated incident, but may be part of the business model of Curro schools,” Balton stated. “We call on the GDE to investigate whether the practice of separate classrooms for different races is consistent with the licence conditions that the department grants.”

“Schools are meant to be laboratories of nation building, not enclaves of outdate apartheid thinking,” he said.

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