Agricultural and industrial curricula for South African rural schools: colonial origins and contemporary continuities
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This chapter has two aims that seek to take the reader from that period of transition in the early twentieth century through to the modern era. The first is to focus on the articulation between notions of "industrial" education and "agricultural" education that were expressed in Cape colonial society between 1890 and 1930. It will be argued that what was characterised then as an "industrial curriculum" or as an "agricultural curriculum" were not understood to be mutually exclusive by missionaries, colonial administrators and by white colonists and employers. Both curriculum ideas referred essentially to low skill forms of education for Africans to participate in a segregated colonial society in which their roles were defined for them in a largely rural environment. In practice, it will be shown that in poorly-resources mission outstation primary schools, what might have been termed "industrial" education invariably took on a decidedly agricultural character. The second aim of the chapter is to demonstrate how this curriculum, conceived in the 1920s, endured into and even beyond the apartheid era.