Life Orientation could be replaced with African History in local high schools

The Department of Education recently announced plans to implement a revised history curriculum across South African high schools.

A team was appointed by the department to investigate the possibility of implementing the new curriculum, which would focus on African civilisations and the effects of slavery and racism.

The argument for this shift in perspective centres around a lack of focus on the evolution of African civilisations.

Experts reportedly argued that the current system is biased towards liberal schools of thought and omits African nationalism, black consciousness, and socialism.

This team has now presented its report to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, recommending an overhaul of the current curriculum to make it more Afrocentric, the City Press reported.

Led by SA Democracy Education Trust executive director Sifiso Ndlovu, the team studied how history was taught in European and African countries, and selected a model used by Ghana as the basis for its recommendations.

History replaces Life Orientation

The team recommended the following changes be implemented:

  • Life Orientation for grades 10, 11, and 12 should be scrapped and replaced with the overhauled History subject.
  • Social Sciences should be separated into History and Geography in senior grades to allow extended times for history lessons.

The team also recommended that these changes be phased in by 2023, allowing schools to prepare for the new curriculum.

Motshekga stated that public consultations would be held and the proposal would be inspected by various committees before it was implemented.

According to the report, she was relieved the team did not focus on post-apartheid history and said there would be no “ANC-fication” of history.

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Life Orientation could be replaced with African History in local high schools