The Curro Foundation School in Pretoria is separating children into classes according to their race, with management seemingly unable to grasp that playing the â€œculture cardâ€ doesnâ€™t disguise the inherent racism of the practice. AAISHA DADI PATEL spoke to parents about how they would feel if such a move were implemented at their own childrenâ€™s schools.
Richard Esterhuizen, 58, hairstylist, Zimbabwe
I would be very against it. Iâ€™d throw my toys out the cot and object to that. A move like that has no place in a country like this. In this stage of this countryâ€™s history, itâ€™s ridiculous. How are kids then meant to learn from others if all that they are exposed to is their own culture? I canâ€™t believe it â€“ 20 years down the line … itâ€™s just unbelievably dof (silly)!
Morea Smith*, 66,Â retired teacher, Cape Town
I think itâ€™s ridiculous. Whereâ€™s the democracy in doing something like that? We must mix cultures and learn from one another. This is still apartheid! This should be stopped. The government must do something because by letting this happen, theyâ€™re teaching the kids racism. I think the people calling for this should really be sat down and have democracy explained to them. We are all human and have red blood.
Wilhelmina Mabaso*, 42, home maker, Johannesburg (pictured above)
This should be stopped. If whites look down their blood lines, they will find they have black ancestors. Black, white, yellow â€“ we are all the same. Itâ€™s not right to do something like this. And on that note I think, you know, they wonder why matrics are doing so badly? Itâ€™s because they put bad ideologies like this into place.
I think itâ€™s stupid. At the end of the day if children are not mixing together now during school, itâ€™s gonna just be hard later in life. Even my 8-year-old son said to me this morning: â€œMom, itâ€™s silly. We need to be mixed.â€ When I grew up it was Apartheid so we weren’t together, but it’s not like that anymore. Kids now donâ€™t see it as a colour thing unless you make it one. And itâ€™s wrong to do that to them.
I would ask why? If it’s a good reason, maybe I’d understand, but I can’t think of what a good reason would be. What would you like to achieve after school then, when these children who were segregated have to go into the world and mix? Must they THEN learn about different races and cultures?
* Names have been changed.
– All images by Aaisha Dadi Patel.