'In a school over 50% black, teachers were still majority white'

Many model C and private schools remain institutions with majority white pupils and the ratio of black teachers to white teachers remains grossly uneven.

Questions are being asked about how black teachers in these schools are treated and are they respected by the white pupils?

READ: Why SA schools must tackle systemic transformation issues, not the symptoms

To discuss this topic, Aki Anastasiou, standing in on the Eusebius McKaiser Show spoke to political analyst and lecturer Dr Sithembile Mbete, Author and DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh and Ph.D. candidate at Wits University and educator Lewis Manthata.

Mbete who is a Roedean alumni says she was very saddened when her school made headlines for firing one of its black teachers and only reinstating her when there was a public outcry. Mbete gave a talk at the school and noticed some interesting phenomena.

A school which is over 50% black, Indian and coloured - it was a real indictement on the school that the teachers were still majority white. The teachers were 90% white. And what is then happening is that these pupils are constantly coming up against the cultural conservatism of the teachers and that is not a sustainable position to be in.

Dr Sithembile Mbete, Political Analyst and Lecturer

Mbete adds that there is a need for model C school's institutional culture to adapt and evolve to the reality of South Africa in 2018.

Mpofu-Walsh says there is a much deeper crisis in South African elite schools.

We often put students in this difficult bind like - either you go to a school that has better academic standards or face a public education system which is crumbling.

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Author and DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford

He says these schools get away with a great deal because "they operate in shadows and hide behind a misguided notion of academic excellence."

Manthata believes these schools continue to hire old white headmasters who have not transformed.

The institutional culture has remained the same. The student body might have changed, but the culture of the schools have remained the same.

Lewis Manthata, PhD Candidate at Wits University

Listen below to the full conversation:


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