Apartheid’s “Bantu Education” was Better than Now, Says Leading South African Black Academic

The much-decried “Bantu education” system under Apartheid was better than what South Africa currently offers school children, a leading black academic has announced.


Rabelani Dagada, author, Development Economist, Information Technologist and Knowledge Management Specialist based at the Business School of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, shocked attendees at a recent debate on the anti-white racism code-named “affirmative action” by telling them that the education currently provided by the black government had deteriorated to the worst in Africa.

“It (Apartheid education) was far better in terms of quality than the education that our kids are receiving nowadays,” Dagada said. “After 20 years of democracy, the education levels have plunged. It’s worse than the so-called Bantu education.”

Dagada’s comments echo a 2010 report by Britain’s BBC reporter Hugh Sykes, who found a large number of blacks living in shanty-towns in South Africa who also complained that “Some things were better under apartheid.”

Dagada, who has achieved all sorts of awards and honors, has good reason to be pessimistic.

Of the 1.1 million black children who were born in 1994 and later entered first grade, fewer than half made it far enough to take the final school graduation exam.

Of those who did, the percentage who passed was 73.9%, up from 70.2% in 2012. But this figure hides the fact that the passing levels are little short of moronic.

Students in South Africa must pass six to earn their diploma, called a National Senior Certificate. However, in order to pass, they need only to receive scores of 40% on three exams and 30% on three others.

“I find it hard to get excited over … results,” tweeted the editor of South Africa’s Financial Mail magazine, Barney Mthombothi. “As long as pass mark is 30% … we’re fooling nobody but ourselves.”

As the far leftist Mail and Guardian newspaper in Johannesburg commented: “The measure of a successful education is whether students are leaving school both literate and numerate, and are able to learn new skills as they enter the work force, or learn new concepts once they enter higher education. It’s doubtful whether a student with a 35% average would be successful on any of those counts.”

The Mail and Guardian went on to explain that even these poor results had been artificially boosted with what is known in South Africa as “mark adjustments.”

This practice of “mark adjustments” works like this, according to the Mail and Guardian: “Each year the state’s quality assurance body Umalusi analyses the results to ensure they are kept in line with the previous year’s performances. If needed, the raw marks are adjusted to remove inconsistencies that might creep in during the examination process or due to external factors.”

Recently, it was reported that only 5% of black and colored students who enter higher education (university level in South Africa) complete their studies.

The collapse in South African educational standards was dramatically revealed in what was described as a “candid affidavit” by the head of the Eastern Cape education department filed in court in response to a legal case.

According to the affidavit, made by head of department Mthunywa Ngonzo, his department is an utter failure, with no decision-making capability, poor leadership and no financial controls.

He said that it was this sorry state that prohibited the department from filling thousands of vacant posts for teachers.

Other admissions by Ngonzo include:

* “The department has been characterised by challenged leadership and governance for the past 16 years, with 13 heads of department, six MECs [political chiefs] and multiple chief financial officers”;

* There are poor or nonexistent financial controls;

* “The department has never had appropriate or fully functional decision-making structures”;

* It lacks information on how many teachers it employs and what their qualifications are; and

* The province has one head office and 23 district offices, 13 of which are dysfunctional.

The chaos is not limited to that province. Last year, more than 5000 school textbooks were found dumped in Majeje, in the Phalaborwa region. Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ronel Otto said the books were dumped in an open veld and were in a good condition.

“The between 5,000 to 6,000 books range from Grade 0 to Grade 9 for various subjects,” Otto said.

Some grades in Limpopo received textbooks seven months after the school year started, while others were still waiting.

The real reason for the collapse in education is of course, racial. According to all objective tests, the average IQ in South Africa is 66 for blacks, 83 for Indians, 82 for “Coloreds” (mixed race) and 94 for whites.

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  1. Well this article says it all !!!! From what I’ve read in historic accounts, the introduction of Bantu Stands (Homelands) was the first stages Apartheid government to separate all tribes. Each tribe had it’s own chieftains and could practice according to their customs /tradition, with exception .. NO ZENOPHOBIZ/GENOCIDE. Which was the main reason for separation. Don’t forget, African, history had taught S.A Gov much about African tribal customs. These Bantu Homelands, had hospitals, schools, etc. Intend was to bring the level of civilization up through education. Everyone in the whole of SA had to learn two Languages – that was the law of the land. You choice was, your mother tongue + Afrikaans which was the mother tongue of the country. If you wanted to learn more languages, no problem. Honorable intention was that education level of blacks would be gradually increased to that of standards in white’s schools and that once blacks learn how to govern themselves, understood what voting was all about, they would then be included in national voting. It would also have given them an opportunity to opt for the option of Independence – become a country within Southern Africa if that is what they chose to do. Just like Europe i.e Germany, France, Belgium etc.

    Mandela did not want this. He encouraged blacks to demand one man one vote. Blacks refused to accept the Afrikaans language. The 1976 Soweta and Sharpsville massacres were results where school kids, burnt books, schools etc. Even from prison, Mandela instructed his ANC supporters to NOT ACCEPT WHITE MAN’s Education. He spread massive propaganda stating that blacks were denied education. Yet Mandela himself was education in a South African University !!! And the world ignored that !

    To prevent tribal fighting, theft of cattle and raiding of each other’s territories, a pass book law was issued. Here again, Mandela used that in his propaganda saying that it was to prevent the freedom of movement of blacks. Russia lived for years, with a pass system. Russian citizens could not move house without permission, let alone go out of their local area .. never mind going abroad which was strictly forbidden.

    And so .. the world swallowed up the propaganda, forced South Africa to hand power over to criminals and terrorist .. all under the pretense of Mandela’s Great Lie .. a rainbow nation. Equality for all. What lies!!!

    First thing Mandela did when coming to power, was to call in all the guns whites had. Mbeki master-planned the lost of these guns, ensuring that they fell into the hands of ANC. Next thing ANC did was create a reverse apartheid. Whites in all government position were paid to step down, with blacks filling their shoes. Any and all government contracts would only be considered by Black Tenders. Massive back handers took place. Many of these projects, that were done had to be redone at Taxpayer’s expense. The list goes on… unimaginable corruption, theft and injustices. Hence infrastructure of country is failing. ANC have also passed a law that all business must transfer – GIVE – 50% of their business ownership to their employees if they employ 50 workers or more. If less workers and turnover is $1 million per year, then irrespective of number of employees, you must also transfer 50% of your business to your employee or employees. THAT IS THEFT FOLKS !!! And Communism full blown !!! GOD HELP S.AFRICA .. !!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I agree with the comments as listed and two things come to mind – a) it just shows how poorly the education system is doing overall b) I’m not so sure why the IQ’s are being quoted in the last paragraph, as I was in education for 25 years and IQ tests were phased out with the emphasis being on the EQ of all people, not just scholars, as being the more useful guide to success in the workplace or school. In fact, schools don’t do these tests any more!?

    1. I know this is an old comment, but just had to reply. You can not compare IQ and EQ tests, or replace one with the other. IQ is the measure of one’s ability to learn, understand and implement skill sets (eg. Education). EQ is a measure of emotional intelligence. It makes sense that South Africa, where a majority group has the lowest avg. IQ, would want to remove IQ tests from any eqaution (pun intended…)

  3. IQs are a rough measure of pencil-and-paper skills – reading, writing, arithmetic, understanding diagrams and drawings. Any groups unable to do this sort of thing will be unable to plan, write, discuss, add up etc.

  4. Speaking to the average black persone aged 40 plus he says that he was better educated than his children are today. They also want to know why they were skilled in three languages at school English, Afrikaans and their home langauage while their children now aren’t schooled on Afrikaans at all. The standard of Math and Science is poor and no more white teachers on township schools. Why?

  5. My father was a Inspector of Bantu education schools from 1945 till his death 1961 mostly in Northern Transvaal area.As a child I went at times with him and was amazed how well disciplined in their neat school uniforms they were and full of smiles and happy.When they start singing it was lovely.My father could speak their language fluently and wrote school books in their language which was used in their schools for many years.I completely reject the idea that education was not available and inferior.Where did Dr Buthelezi and Mandela get their education? not overseas.Dr NB Stegmann

  6. …this is little different that many public school systems in urban areas…teachers always crying about not being paid enough, while student achievement scores are in the toilet…Detroit Public Schools are a good example. DPS teachers have been imposing “sick-outs” on their students, blaming their non-achievement on “building problems”…

  7. I was an educator from 1974 to 1997. I started in White education, but switched to Black education in 1982. I began mt Black education career in Nongoma, in the bundus of KwaZulu Natal. The subjects I taught, the textbooks and syllabuses, were the same. The examination papers and the standard of marking were the same. My last years of teaching in Black education was in Benoni on the East Rand, near Johannesburg.

    I can say what was wrong. The greatest part of my teaching career took place during the time when the Black youth started to wreak havoc, burning down schools, destroying textbooks, and making our work a night mare. Student uprisings as spurred on by the United Democratic Front caused situations where students simply and without prior warning took control of the schools and colleges, keeping us as teaching and administration staff hostage, necessitating the police to intervene and accommodate out safe exit from the college grounds.

    Nelson Mandela then offered severance packages for White staff who were willing to leave. I was one that accepted this offer. My colleagues that decided to stay on, discovered that being and educator was no longer a matter of enjoyment. The last I recall from my last year in education was a system where all the students’ marks were re-evaluated through a system which I wasn’t able to fully grasp. Others may give greater clarity, but in brief, as I understood this the marks were plotted out on a graph with those whose marks were below the average were raised and those above penalized. According to the system it was seen as mathematically reasonable.

  8. I have visited many schools in South Africa. I feel there are good students and good teachers, but they are not treated fairly. Teachers often treat students like little kids and have them chant what is to be learned. Students are spoon fed until they get to University by teachers that may not have a full understanding of what they are teaching.
    At university, they are thrown into overloaded classrooms, with many having no place to sit. No money for books, food, or housing; although, they may have a bursary. This is because sponsors or universities do not pay the bursaries as timely as they should. Students have been told they are at the university because they are the best in the country. They use the tools they have been given in high school, but do not realize those tools no longer work at university, where this is no spoon feeding, often no student interest by the teachers, and the teachers do not realize or care that their way of teaching does not work for these students. Maybe far more devastating is that the teachers do not care that the students do not learn.
    Students should be challenged to learn, but they have no idea they are having problems until the first test several weeks into the term. They have been told they are the best and often wonder how the university could allow them to fail.
    Funny thing here is that the privileged white students often do no better than the kids who come from the townships. Why do we continue to mislead these kids?
    People should be challenged during their entire Career. Grades, abilities, and jobs should not be judged on the color of skin, but rather, who can do the task the best! The bar for education should be raised and not lowered! Without fair competition, how does a person or a country advance?

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