Die stryd van die Duitser om die behoud van sy eie op die gebied van die skoolwese in Suidwes–Afrika
Opperman, Daniël Petrus Jacobus
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Since 1904 the German authorities realised that schools could be implemented as strategic bases for strengthening the ties with the German Reich and neutralizing the influence of Dutch Colonists to such an extent that they could eventually be incorporated in the "Deutschtum". (German nationhood). World War 1, however, intervened. South West Africa became Mandated Territory under supervision of South Africa. The attempt of the Administration to take over all German schools and hostels in 1920 was opposed by the "Landesverband", who required mother tongue instruction and teachers from Germany. After lengthy discussions and negotiations only five schools preferred to carry on as private institutions while the others became part of the Government System which offered mother tongue instruction till Std. 6 and German as subject in all other standerds. Private schools were not aided by the State and the Schulvereine experienced grave financial and accommodation difficulties. According to the London Agreement 1923 the Administration undertook to subsidise the schools at Windhoek and Swakopmund and their hostels. This concession was extended to Primary Schools in 1925 and was followed by more favourable grants until 1937. In 1940 the Joint Matriculation Board allowed candidates to offer: (1) German Higher Grade (2) English Lower Grade (3) Afrikaans Lower Grade. The other three subjects selected according to existing regulations could be answered in German. German members of the Legislative Assembly wanted German as a third official language but failed. With the rise of National Socialism in Germany its influence was also directed to South West Africa. It infiltrated schools and Youth Movements with the result that the Hitlerjugend was banned in 1934. After the War Proclamation No. 36 of 1945 deprived the Germans of all the privileges which they had enjoyed. The struggle was renewed. In 1950, however, the National Party came into power and requests by the German Community were favourably considered. Several Commissions of Enquiry were appointed and their reports led to the reestablishment of German sections in Government Schools where mother tongue instruction was allowed till Std. 4 and later Std. 5. Subsidies were granted to private schools under certain conditions. Today there are eight German Medium Sections in Government Primary Schools apart from two separate German Primary Schools at Tsumeb and Otjiwaronto. At the appropriate time facilities for German Medium instruction till Std. 8 will be provided at Swakopmund High School. Two more German Primary Schools will be established at Swakopmund and Windhoek in the near future. Since 1963 the Joint Matriculation Board has allowed candidates to offer German on the Higher Grade, one of the official languages on the Higher Grade and one on the Lower Grade. The Board however accepted a pass on the Lower Grade in both official languages if all other regulations were observed. It is evident that the former strife and struggle has entered a phase of peaceful co-operation where requests can be calmly debated. A feeling of mutual respect is uniting the three main cultural groups in a spirit of common loyalty to South West Africa and its people.
- Education