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Title:Educational Controversies: African Activism and Educational Strategies in Southern Rhodesia, 1920-1934
Author:Summers, Carol.
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Great Britain
educational history
student strikes
History and Exploration
Education and Oral Traditions
Development and Technology
Abstract:This paper examines three case studies of conflict between Africans' concepts of what education should be, and the education actually available in schools in Southern Rhodesia (colonial Zimbabwe). It focuses on the 1920s and early 1930s. In Gutu District, students and parents fought for alternatives to the Dutch Reformed Church schools, attempting to enlist government support for alternatives, and attending independent schools. At Inyati, a London Missionary Society school in Matabeleland, dissatisfied students struck, forcing major changes on the school as the mission acknowledged a need to provide pupils with not merely subsistance and disciplined learning, but also respect and advancement. The first government schools also started out with strikes over academic and industrial curricula. Ultimately student activism, through protests, strikes, or appeals, did alter the curricula and the forms of discipline of schools in Southern Rhodesia. But the changes were limited. Protests did not produce an educational system capable of allowing Africans to compete effectively with Europeans. Nevertheless, these struggles taught important lessons about alliance formation, the presentation of demands, and negotiation. Notes, ref., sum.