Curriculum Studies in South Africa: Intellectual Histories & by William F. Pinar (eds.)

By William F. Pinar (eds.)

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What should be done with them? A school was deemed to be the most effective vehicle for preparing the children for their future as property of the Dutch East India 26 CRAIN SOUDIEN Company or the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the commercial enterprise that first formally settled down at the southern tip of Africa. The commander of the VOC, Jan van Riebeeck, the so-called father of modern South Africa, gave instructions for how the children were to be treated. They were in his eyes, identity-less subjects into whom everything that was necessary for their embodiment as slaves could be poured—a Christian God, VOC brandy and tobacco, and, ultimately, new Dutch Christian names.

We see in it an attempt to shape the Cape of Good Hope in the image of the dominant classes of Holland. The first school that was established in April 1658 in South Africa was a slave school. It came into being as a managerial necessity. A slaver had been captured containing a large number of children. What should be done with them? A school was deemed to be the most effective vehicle for preparing the children for their future as property of the Dutch East India 26 CRAIN SOUDIEN Company or the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the commercial enterprise that first formally settled down at the southern tip of Africa.

WHAT TO TEACH THE NATIVES 33 Reflecting this contradictory state of affairs, a group came into being in the 1930s calling itself the New Education Fellowship (NEF). This modernist-minded group presents this period with its most significant intellectual instruments to make a break with the racializing trajectory that appears to be the country and the region’s destiny. Unlike most other stakeholders in the knowledge production community in South Africa at the time, it is fully aware of the promise of education.

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