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ANC statement on History as a compulsory school subject

21 August 2018

The ANC Study Group on Basic Education notes and welcomes the findings of the Basic Education Ministerial Task Team on making History a compulsory subject in South African schools. The report, as presented in Parliament today, reflects the processes taken by the Ministerial Task Team as well as its findings and recommendations with regards to History as a compulsory school subject.

In supporting the recommendation that History be introduced as a compulsory school subject, we recognise the possible challenges that can be faced, especially relating to funding the restructuring of the curriculum, training of teachers as well as the writing, quality assurance and printing of textbooks.

Whilst acknowledging efforts by the Department as well as the Ministerial Task Team to date, we urge them to fast track all avenues of implementation including consultations with the Department of Higher Education and Training, Teacher Unions and other relevant stakeholders.

History as a compulsory subject in our schools is long overdue. It plays a pivotal role in building a sense of nationalism, patriotism and national unity. It also enables South African citizens to learn and understand the struggles that were faced by many in order for this country to gain democracy. History as a school subject must tackle social inequality, speak to issues of social cohesion, national and African identity. It must contribute to our project of decolonising our school curriculum. As a school subject, it will increase the analytical and cognitive thinking of learners which will build learners in a holistic manner.

In understanding that project is work in progress, we look forward to the finalisation of this process to ensure that all our learners are equipped with the necessary knowledge to appreciate the importance of History as a school subject.

Issued by the Chairperson of the ANC Study Group on Basic Education, comrade Nomalungelo Gina.

Nonceba Mhlauli

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