The Bantu Education Act had a major impact on education in South Africa, specifically for the Black population.
The Act was passed in 1953 and provided the mechanism for the segregation of the black population in South African education.
This was a system created by the then National Party government of South Africa to “promote the educational advancement of general Bantu and other non-white people”.
The Act required that schools be divided into two separate structures: one for white students and one for black students.
This segregation reached deep into the education system, with separate syllabuses and curriculums being taught as well as results being awarded differently for white and black students.
The Act translates to a tremendous amount of inequality in the South African education system.
Racial discrimination is further exacerbated by the principle that black students cannot receive an education equal to that of white students.
In addition, the policies prescribed by the Act further perpetuate the inequalities in education, as various resources were provided differently between the two groups of students and access to higher education was limited to white students for much longer.
The effects of this system of oppression were devastating. White students began to complete their education and receive higher education degrees while black students were left unable to pursue their aspirations.
This resulted in a decrease in the number of black graduates, consequently having a negative impact on the lives of many, their employment and the South African economy in general.
This form of segregation further hindered economic growth, as the Black population was unable to access the opportunities available to them due to inferior education.
The legacy of the Bantu Education Act still has a lasting effect on South Africa today.
Though the Act has been removed, the effects of the inequality it produced are still present.
The Black population continues to have inferior access to education resources, higher education opportunities and economic opportunities.
If South Africa is to embrace true equality, the legacy of the Bantu Education Act must be addressed and rectified in order to create a just and equitable society.