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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Soweto's islands of learning: Morris Isaacson and Orlando High Schools under Bantu Education, 1958-1975
Author:Glaser, CliveISNI
Year:2015
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Volume:41
Issue:1
Pages:159-171
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:secondary education
black education
apartheid
educational quality
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2015.991573
Abstract:Orlando High School and Morris Isaacson High School, the two most famous high schools in Soweto, offer a valuable lens into the shifting culture of teaching and learning in South Africa's urban public schooling. These two schools are best known for their role in the 1976 Soweto uprising, but the author moves away from this aspect of their history and, instead, analyses them as institutions of learning and as crucial generators of Soweto's professional elite over several decades. This article focuses on the schools as they operated under the Bantu Education system from the late 1950s until the mid 1970s. During the 1960s the Nationalist government was hostile to the very notion of African secondary schooling in the cities. Yet in spite of an authoritarian and repressive state bureaucracy, a lack of resources, and overcrowding, the schools established themselves as credible institutions of learning. Under the firm leadership of T.W. Kambule and Lekgau Mathabathe, they attracted talented, dedicated staff and highly motivated students. Working within the state system inevitably aroused suspicions and tensions; nevertheless, the schools offered the most likely avenue for ordinary Sowetan families to achieve some form of professional upward mobility. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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