Black education in Mokwallo : a historical perspective of the period 1920–1980
Motumi, Knysna Teboho
MetadataShow full item record
Mokwallo is the name of both the black township and a Primary School near the town of Vredefort, which is situated in one of the northern districts of the present Free State Province. This town is situated on the R721 road between Parys and Kroonstad, approximalety 126 km south of Johannesburg and 76 km north of Kroonstad. It was laid out on the farm Vischgat, which belonged to Jacobus Johannes Scheepers in 1876, and was proclaimed in 1881 and became a municipality in 1890. Since formal education became part of the present day Free State Province, many educational histories have been written on various regions of the province. Though the educational collection available on the Free State Province appears to be impressive, the focus is predominantly on the historical development, influence and meaning of white education. There are also educational histories that are located in sections of existing local histories; they normally present only a broad outline. Very little is available on the local activities and the local educational development of black townships in the Free State, like Mokwallo. The historical origin, development and educational provision of education for the black people of Mokwallo township has not yet been written. Local and regional history, of which the history of Mokwallo township forms part, has become an important part of the historians' field of study. Regional history studies the past from the local angle. It is interested in the smaller community and the activities of ordinary people in their own community. It is the study of human achievements and failures in a specific society in conjunction and in comparison with other units or groups. The study of the history of the origin, development and provision of specifically primary education for the black people of Mokwallo is in general an attempt to close that gap. Furthermore, its relevance lies in the complete history of Mokwallo in order to gain a clear indication of the extent to which Mokwallo gained from and contributed to national history. The study of the microcosm and man's place in it is an important prerequisite for a proper understanding of broader historical developments. The historical method is used to secure data. In chapter one the research is limited to an overview of the development of schooling for black people in South Africa from 1652 to 1925, with the aim of understanding the educational setting in which Mokwallo School functioned. Chapter two deals with the role and influence of joint control of the education of black people by missionary societies, the provincial administrations and the Union's government of Native Affairs from 1926 to 1950 in order to indicate their decisive role in the general education of black people on local level, with Mokwallo as case study. In the following chapter, the impact of the new dispensation in the education of the black people of Mokwallo through the passing of the controversial Bantu Education Bill in 1953 is also, amongst others, addressed. The last section is devoted to the dawn of the new era, 1961 to 1980, which was characterised by rapid and progressive development of the educational structure for the black people of South Africa, and specifically Mokwallo. In the summary conclusions are drawn from the study which, amongst others, are that colonial education of the black people lacked defined objectives with respect to administration, curriculum and financial control, mainly because its main aim was to Evangelise the black people of South Africa. The advent of the National Bantu Education system in 1954, which was designed to fit the apparent needs of the black people, also played a major role in the development of the education of black people, despite its controversy and a lack of adequate finance for the education of black people in South Africa. Regardless of the missionaries' weaknesses and shortcomings, it remains certain that they contributed to the foundation of education for the black people of Mokwallo township. In the case of Mokwallo there were no serious problems around the education of black people, as in other townships in the country. Perhaps this was a result of the absence of a secondary school for black people in Mokwallo township. Instead, there was massification of black education in Mokwallo, which enhanced the development of the black people of Vredefort and the district. On the other hand, the main focus of the education of Mokwallo was chiefly the academic development of the black people, and very little was done regarding the development of socio-cultural aspects, except in the sphere of music. Lastly, all the principals of Mokwallo School appeared to have accepted the general political and social status of Vredefort and Mokwallo township as it was at the time.
- Humanities