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Motshekga: History will help pupils deal with social issues, identity

A ministerial task team has made a number of recommendations towards making the subject compulsory for pupils between grades 10 and 12.

FILE: Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announces the 2017 matric results on 4 January 2018. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says while no subject is more important than another, making history compulsory in schools will help pupils in dealing with social issues, such as identity.

A ministerial task team has made a number of recommendations towards making the subject compulsory for pupils between grades 10 and 12.

“History is about identity and for every human being identity is very important. You can even see in terms of performance of different racial groups, it has much more to do with what they’ve been told as people. Instead of people saying 'if you take land from us we’ll be disadvantaged', people can say 'we come from a fighting nation'.”

In its report, the team has recommended history to be phased in from 2023 with the process leading to the phasing out of life orientation which is compulsory.

LISTEN: Is Basic Education in good shape?

'PREDATORS MOVING FROM ONE CLASSROOM TO THE ANOTHER'

During her interview on Talk Radio 702, Motshekga said Education and Justice Departments should take the fall for a faulty vetting system, which should track potential sexual predators in school.

It's emerged that the South African Council of Educators, which is mandated with the process, has not had access to the National Sexual Offenders Register in the Justice Department and that it only made the request for access last year.

Motshekga says due to the faults, predators who have been dismissed by schools for misconduct but have not been found guilty in a court, have been moving from one classroom to another.

“We need to have a system that not only relies on the justice system, but even the schools should also be able to feed into that. It should be compulsory for them to feed into the register, for example, to say: ‘We had a disciplinary hearing around these teachers but the children were not willing to come forward, but we felt there was enough evidence to release him for indecent behaviour and lodge their name.’”

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