TEACH­ERS ARE PIV­OTAL IN ROOT­ING OUT DIS­CRIM­I­NA­TION IN CLASS­ROOMS

Pretoria News - - METRO - VAL BOJE [email protected]

A FULL in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion in North West be­gins to­day at Laer­skool Sch­weizer-Reneke.

This fol­lows the rev­e­la­tion – made in­ad­ver­tently by teach­ers them­selves – of a seat­ing plan that saw white chil­dren at the main ta­ble in a Grade R class, with black class­mates seated sep­a­rately at a smaller ta­ble.

The Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion is right that it is dis­con­cert­ing that some teach­ers still be­have like this, but we are not all that sur­prised be­cause many whites can­not see be­yond their in­bred prej­u­dice and do not even un­der­stand that what they do is wrong.

Re­mem­ber the 2016 case when the mother of a black child found out, in a sim­i­lar man­ner through a photo sent to her, that her child was seated alone at a nurs­ery school in Cen­tu­rion, while white class­mates sat to­gether at a ta­ble eat­ing cook­ies? Or the case the year be­fore when Curro Rood­e­plaat pupils were di­vided by race as they rode on a bus to a school out­ing?

The schools of­fer as mit­i­ga­tion that it is a case of lan­guage not race, and some white par­ents be­lieve that too, but what is clear is that these ac­tions are driven at their core by racism.

As Man­dela said, no one is born hat­ing an­other be­cause of the colour of their skin. Peo­ple learn to hate but, equally, they can learn to love.

School teach­ers need to un­der­stand the vi­tal role they play in pro­mot­ing love not race hate at school. And this starts by invit­ing ev­ery­one to sit at the same ta­ble.

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