'Its time multiple perspectives are reflected in our history curriculum'
In May this year, a Ministerial Task Team appointed by the Department of Basic Education, recommended that history should be made compulsory in South African schools.
It also recommended that the current curriculum must be changed to reflect a more Afrocentric perspective.
On Tuesday, the task team was given a green light to amend the history curriculum at South African schools. What does this mean for South African schools? How are the changes going to affect day to day schooling?
To give clarity on the matter spokesperson of the Department of Basic Education Elijah Mhlanga says the task team will determine the content in the history books.
This is a job we want to see happen independently. We don't want to interfere and we cannot predetermine the outcome. They have already done the research and were appointed in 2015, gave the minister a report which was published in May this year. She read the recommendations and felt that this task team need to continue and implement the recommendations which they sent to her.Elijah Mhlanga, Department of Basic Education spokesperson
He adds that the curriculum will be politicised as history in its essence is political.
How do you want history to be? It is political, the history we have now is political The fact that a particular narrative has been pushed at the expense of another is political. It is about time that multiple perspectives are reflected in textbooks that we have in our schools.Elijah Mhlanga, Department of Basic Education spokesperson
Academic and transformation expert Asanda Ngoasheng also weighed in on the conversation.
One of the biggest issues is that there is this tendency where people are focused a lot on the impact of colonialism on colonised subjects. And we need to focus both on the impact of colonialism on colonised subjects as well as colonisers themselves. Because colonialism is a very violent system both the oppressor and the oppressed.Asanda Ngoasheng, Academic and transformation expert
She believes that the history of Africa and South Africa gives people a specific understanding of the world and that history needs to be told and taught in a different way.
Listen below to the full conversation on the history subjects at schools.