The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, has approved the reappointment of the History Ministerial Task Team (MTT) to overhaul the national school History Curriculum and restructure it to be more Afrocentric and relevant to South African learners. This is seen as the next step towards the de-colonisation of the education system.
The approval by Motshekga follows one of the key recommendations in the MTT report released in December last year that a complete restructuring of the History Curriculum and Assessment Statement (CAPS) from Grades four to 12 in South African schools be done.
According to the department, the plan is to make the history curriculum more relevant within the South African context and covers multiple perspectives, rather than one dominant perspective and distorted narratives.
The MTT will comprise the same team initially assembled in May this year to conduct the feasibility of making History a compulsory subject throughout the school system in South Africa.
Led by Professor Sifiso Ndlovu, the team has been given the mandate by Motshekga, to “set the direction of history education for the country going forward”, according to a statement released by spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga on behalf of the department yesterday.
“Inside and outside of the education sector there has been a lot of excitement and anticipation regarding the overhaul of our history education in schools, which has been characterised by many as perpetuating a colonial or western perspective,” Motshekga said in the statement.
“I have absolute faith in the team of experts that are going to be forging the way forward in terms of how we teach our young people about the past. I believe that a comprehensive, well-rounded and accurate teaching of history will help our learners understand themselves better and assist the country in moving forward together,” Motshekga added.
The task team for the development of the new History curriculum will start this process by first receiving inputs and comments for consideration. The team will also screen textbooks to ensure alignments with the new curriculum, and propose History teacher development programmes for both Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and In-service Teacher Education.