Curio Critique # 18:Girls’ schools in apartheid South Africa

Curio Critique # 17:Provisions for delinquent children
July 16, 2017
Curio Critique # 19: Corporal Punishment
July 17, 2017
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Sl. No. Curio Book Title Year of Publication
18 Chambers’s Journal - Seventh Series Vol III December 1912 to November 1913 1913

Curio Book

Curio reference

Colonial rulers of Africa generally viewed the natives as intellectually and morally inferior. In the early twentieth century when colonial governments instituted public education systems, the goal was to prepare young Africans to be compliant labourers.
The 1913 edition of the Chambers’s Journal has an engaging article entitled ‘Schools and Schoolgirls in South Africa’.

Related references

By 1931, the Union of South Africa gained full independence from the United Kingdom and the minority white population, retained control of the government. At the time, the education system was segregated and unequal. As one history recounted, “While white schooling was free, compulsory and expanding, black education was sorely neglected. Underfunding and an urban influx led to gravely insufficient schooling facilities, teachers and educational materials as well as student absenteeism or non-enrolment.”

Bantu Education Policy, South African History
In 2013, the Secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC) Gwede Mantashe lashed out against the people of South Africa who think the country must close the chapter on apartheid education. He observed: apartheid education system was designed to keep black people enslaved...We’re terrible with Maths and science education in South Africa. The reality is that it’s a consequence of apartheid because Africans in particular and blacks in general were not allowed to do Mathematics at school, by law.


Schools were set up for girls as early as 1885 in Roedean Brighton.
Founded by the Lawrence family in 1885, the core ethos of Roedean Brighton was to provide young girls with the kind of academic education that would enable them to meet the challenges they faced during this time in their struggle for gender equality...110 years later, Roedean is committed to providing opportunities for young women to make career choices which will enable them to be competitive in the global workplace.


Founded in 1922, Benoni High School cherishes strong sense of tradition and pursues excellence in academic, sport and cultural activities with the motto – Quam Optime – (Better than the Best).

Brescia House School established in 1966 is one of South Africa’s leading girls’ schools. In 2015, the school claimed to have achieved not only a 100% pass rate, but also a 100% University Entrance in their final matric results.
Curio Quest How different is the schooling of girls in India compared to post-apartheid South Africa?

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