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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 2. 1965.

Educating for Apartheid

Educating for Apartheid

It was against the background of the report printed below that the Students' Association last year supported a move for the promotion of scholarships for South African students. The report gives in concise form the main reasons for the scholarships, an appeal for which is to be launched shortly.

In South Africa today apartheid permeates the education system. It is becoming obvious that black South Africans are finding it increasingly difficult, to pursue higher education.

The system of education is designed to make African children accept an inferior position. In the words of Dr. Verwoerd, speaking to the South African Parliament in 1954. "If the native in South Africa today hi any kind of school in existence today is being taught to expect that he will live his adult life under the policy of equal rights he is making a big mistake."

The passing of the University apartheid legislation in 1959 has firmly established the principle of apartheid in universities. Under this legislation it is a criminal offence for a non-white student to register in any university except a Tribal College without having first obtained permission from the Minister of Bantu education.

Since this legislation was passed the numbers of non-white students admitted to the universities of Capetown and Witwatersrand have been reduced substantially. No non-white students have been admitted to the non-European section of the University of Natal, except for the non-white Medical School.

In 1960 the Government prohibited the admission of African students to the Medical School at Witwatersrand, thus leaving the non-white Medical School at Natal as the only medical school in the country for non-whites. The facilities at this school limit its capacity to 60 non-white students.

On the basis of one doctor to every eight or nine hundred people (the ratio in Great Britain) it is estimated that South Africa needs 14.700 doctors. The present output of doctors can never fulfil this requirement.

Many staff appointments to the University Colleges of Fort Hare. Turfloop, and Ngoye have been made on political grounds rather than academic skills. Some posts have been made rewards to Afrikaaner Nationalist Party members.

In the "Tribal Colleges' of Fort Hare, Turfloop, Ngoye. Western Cape, and Salisbury Is. the National Union of South African students is banned and students have been refused admission on political grounds. No student meeting may be organised, no Press statement can be released, no student publication is allowed, and no visitors can be received without the approval of the university authorities.

A statement issued by the Government Information Office says: "From an ideological point of view the biggest achievement of the separate colleges will be the cessation of the particular liberalist indoctrination which is a prominent feature of the open universities," The Prime Minister. Dr. Verwoerd, stated "the new Bantu universities will not turn the Bantu into black Englishmen to struggle against the Afrikaaner."

At the lower education level a similar situation exists In the debate on Bantu education Dr. Verwoerd announced; "When I get control of Bantu education, I will reform it so that the natives will be taught from childhood to realise that equality with Europeans is not for them.

"Until now." he also said, '"the African has been subjected to a school system which drew him away from the community and misled him by showing him the green pastures of European society in which he is not allowed to graze."

Of the million African children who receive primary education, only a small proportion proceed beyond two years of education and of these only three per cent go on to secondary school.

A heavy decline in the amount of money spent on Bantu education is shown in the latest report available. In 1961-62 the expenditure on Bantu education per person was R17.99 and on white education R100.00 In 1962-63 these figures were respectively R12.46 and R140.00. (R2 equals £NZ1). The comparative New Zealand figure is R200.

In 1958, expenditure on school feeding of African children amounted to R893.686, while in 1962-63 this had fallen to R70.000. In 1958 the subsidy on night schools was R46.000, in 1962-63 R2000—a decrease of 95 per cent.

In November 1959, in order that the deficiencies in African higher education might be remedied, the Bishop of Johannesburg, the Rt. Rev. Ambrose Reeves, presided over a meeting of five prominent South Africans. Its trustees included Nobel Prize winner Chief Luthull, Alan Paton (of "Cry, the Beloved Country"), D. Craighead, President of the Liberal Party, and the Bishop himself.

Under this scheme in 1963. 120 students were studying for degrees. The qualifications needed are three subjects to the advanced level of the London GCE. Because of the high standard required, up to two years are spent in preparation before work on the degree is started so that probably most degrees will take up to six years to complete.

Because of limited possibilities, the growth of the scheme (Sached) is relatively slow, and the part New Zealand could play in helping to educate Africans Is very extensive.