'n Evaluering van Bybelkunde as keusevak in Transvaalse Afrikaanse sekondêre skole
Maree, Hendrik Oostenwald
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This study has attempted to evaluate Biblical Studies as a choice subject in Transvaal Afrikaans secondary schools. The period prior to 1969 was characterized by various persons and instances striving to have Biblical Studies introduced as an academic subject with the Bible as its primary source. To achieve this they continually endeavoured to change the status of Religious Instruction to that of an examination subject. This approach, more than any other reason delayed the introduction of Biblical Studies. The break-through for the introduction of Biblical Studies came about on the 10th of September 1965 owing to the efforts of Dr. A.L. Kotzee, Director of Education, and at the time Professional Assistant to the Transvaal Education Department. His move that Biblical Studies be introduced as a choice subject for both final examinations was accepted and from January 1969 this was realized. The number of candidates taking Biblical Studies grew very rapidly until 1973. Since then there was a marked reduction in the number of candidates. The same applies to the number of schools introducing the subject. This has become so serious that the subject is in danger of disappearing from the curriculum of some schools. The syllabus for Biblical Studies which has been followed in Transvaal secondary schools since January 1969 made provision that the subject could only be taken as from standard 9, on the standard grade level only, while the final examination was based upon the work of standards 9 and 10. The result of this study seems to be that the aforementioned aspects were not conducive to the establishment and growth of Biblical Studies as a choice subject. The new core syllabus for Biblical Studies was introduced in Transvaal secondary schools in January 1973. This syllabus was extended into a syllabus for Transvaal secondary schools and makes provision for the subject being taken as from standard 8. Furthermore the subject is offered at both standard and higher grade levels with a final examination based only upon the work of the standard 1 0 year. In spite of the more favourable conditions Biblical Studies has according to statistics, declined as a subject. For the purpose of evaluating Biblical Studies as a choice subject, chapter 2 of this study considers the educational value of the subject with regard to its name, nature, aims and place in the educational situation. Criteria were determined and the following aspects were taken into consideration: The Bible and Christian parenthood, baptismal creed, the syllabus for Biblical Studies, methodological guidance in the syllabus, organization and planning, differentiated education, Religious Instruction, inspection and guidance, Law 39 of 1967 and the value of Biblical Studies in practice. In order to determine whether Biblical Studies meets the demands of the criteria mentioned, the 31 schools offering the subject, were requested to complete three questionnaires. Thirty schools responded and this study therefore gives a comprehensive view of Biblical Studies at Transvaal Afrikaans secondary schools. Questionnaires were completed by the headmaster, the teacher for Biblical Studies in standard 10 and all standard 1 0 pupils who took the subject in 197 5. Chapter 4 analysis the information and chapter 5 evaluates Biblical Studies according to the criteria set out in chapter 2. Chapter 6 focuses on the shortcomings that became evident and makes certain recommendations for the improvement of the situation. The particular assets found are to a great extent negated by many shortcomings and other dangers. The most serious of these is the dwindling number of pupils taking the subject. If all instances concerned were to take notice of the recommendations of this investigation, it seems possible that the future of Biblical Studies as a choice subject may be assured. This matter concerns pupils, parents, the South African nation and the church. Above all however, it concerns the Kingdom of God. The sympathetic attitude of the Transvaal Education Department is praiseworthy.
- Education