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date: 25 June 2024

School Choice Policies in Postapartheid South Africalocked

School Choice Policies in Postapartheid South Africalocked

  • Bekisizwe S. NdimandeBekisizwe S. NdimandeDepartment of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, University of Texas at San Antonio

Summary

School choice is a fairly new phenomenon among Black communities in postapartheid South Africa. “Choice” has historically been state-determined; in other words, parents were instructed where to send their children to school based on race and based on the urban/rural homeland division of Black South Africans. Even after 1994, the new and democratically elected government gave very little direction to schools or school districts as to school choice for the purpose of desegregating public schools; there was no bussing, for example, as in the United States when desegregation started in the 1960s. Nor was there a strong rezoning policy that would force White public schools to give Black students access to White schools. In theory and according to the law, parents could choose to send their children to any school regardless of race. In practice, White schools determined who gained access to their schools through self-created policies based on high tuition fees, exclusive language policies, and self-defined “catchment areas” from which students would be chosen. Together, these strategies effectively excluded the Black poor, even though it provided access to the small numbers of Black middle class parents in the mainly English-medium White schools.

Subjects

  • Educational Politics and Policy
  • Globalization, Economics, and Education
  • Educational History

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