Answer honestly: Would you keep your child in a black-majority school?

10 May 2018 - 08:00
There are no more white children in this Grade 5 class at Saxonwold Primary School in Johannesburg.
There are no more white children in this Grade 5 class at Saxonwold Primary School in Johannesburg.
Image: Masi Losi

Try to answer this question honestly. If your child is at a former white South African school and over time the majority of incoming pupils becomes black‚ would you move that child to another school?

When I pose this question to white parents they all say “no”. But most of them are not being truthful. The clever ones will say “no” but with conditions – provided the quality of education stays the same.

It turns out that in most schools affected by white flight‚ the teachers‚ the principal‚ the governing body and the facilities stay more or less exactly the same. The only thing that has changed is that more than 50% of the children are now black. When that happens‚ white parents flee and put their children in white-dominant schools.

Do not for one moment think this is only the racism of white parents. Coloured and Indian parents do exactly the same thing when too many African children come to dominate the school numbers. In fact‚ when I once raised my voice at my children’s primary school in Durban calling for more black teachers on the staff‚ it was Indian and coloured parents who shut me up.

“We want white teachers for our children‚” they said.

- For more on this story‚ please visit Times Select

X