By Lindsay Maasdorp
The 2016 matric results have been released and the white-centered view is that the black majority have failed dismally in achieving white standards. Biko says: “Township life alone makes it a miracle for anyone to live up to adulthood.” How is it then possible that white-centered learning that privileges an assessment based on numbers is a fair assessment, rather than an individuals understanding of society, their relationship with their society and critically, an understanding of how they can move their community forward?
White people throw us into the township where bullets and rape are normalized amongst the subhuman, and then we are fed an education that is used to filter out blacks, where ultimately, only the best slaves may participate in the white supremacist capitalist patriarchal society.
What is the percentage of black learners who have even made it to matric? What is the percentage of these who have completed matric, who will then enter into tertiary education? How many of the entries to higher education will complete their qualification? And who will be at the upper echelons of society determine how society functions in the same way Johan Rupert was groomed to run this neo-colonial country that privileges the white minority?
Black “people” are in a permanent state of embarrassment. The Eastern Cape community is now the but of all jokes, having achieved the lowest matric pass rate in the country, obtaining 63.3%. This, regardless of the treacherous state of schools within the rural communities. The question must be, have these students failed, or is it the white-centered society and us blacks who permit this anti-black society to stay in place, who have failed?
How do we celebrate those who passed a white-centered education? Are they not now more normalized into a white-centered society? These very black graduates will now need to go through the next hurdle that basically tests their ability to assimilate to whiteness. They will have to stand in long National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) lines, facing the brutality of higher learning including heightened forms of anti-black violence. They’ll face impossible fees resulting in squatting, hunger, economic exclusion and the perpetual crisis of needing to “make it out of blackness” so that the mother who sent them to this white hell can be saved from the black hell called a township.
This normalization of a white-centered society and its white-centered education further illustrate the need for a decolonised education in a decolonised society. We need black-centered learning that prepares us to defend the coming land revolution. We should learn farming, building, culture, history and language ensuring more people who are knowledgeable about the historical context of the black liberation struggle, the pre-colonial cultural experience and the new revolutionary culture towards liberation, as well as how African languages intersect and how they can unite us. This will inturn make black people who pass black-centeredness, a people who know themselves and are equally able to move society forward.
The Black First Land First Student Movement (BLF-SM) rejects the notion that success and failure depend on percentages within a white-centered education. Our praise is reserved for the black revolutionary teachers who have been committed to developing black holistic beings despite all that the white supremacist project has thrown at the black population. We further commend the black students and families that managed to persevere through the anti-black violence and implore BLF to continue its community based work that drives the revolutionary project forward, by working with the unemployed youth, whether they have “passed” or “failed” within white logic.
BLF-SM supports the proposal taken at the recent BLF National Strategic Planning meeting on incorporating Zimbabwean educators to co-teach Mathematics, Science and English. We recognize our well versed Afrikan counterparts can contribute where South Afrikan teachers lack as a result of the inferior training that they have received.
A further proposal is for the Fees Must Fall movement to be engaged to implement the revolutionary curriculum, as a tool to realizing the decolonised education in a decolonised society.
Free The Mind, Take The Land!
Lindsay Maasdorp is a member of the BLF-Student Movement National Secretariat