Tact and right language needed to teach young people about apartheid: Diversity specialist

todayJuly 28, 2023 54

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Diversi-T Founder and CEO, Terry Oakley-Smith, says while it is important for schools to teach children about apartheid, hate speech should not be used to drive the point home.
Oakley -Smith was weighing in on the Crawford International Pretoria College incident in which an elderly teacher used racial slurs in a bid to encourage her black learners not to fret when the K and N words are used on them because they did not experience apartheid.
The diversity specialist says the 82-year-old educator missed an opportunity to teach children about hate speech, without having to explicitly using the words.
Oakley-Smith cases like this always seem to rear their ugly head every year and they come as a shock every time.
She questioned why an esteemed school like Crawford hired someone that old and who clearly still carries dated ways of thinking.
The diversity specialist says the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) should seize the moment and educate the teacher about apartheid, its impact on the majority of South Africans and its lingering legacy.

Oakley-Smith says it is unfair to assume that the children could not have been affected by the usage of the racist terms the teacher used, considering that their parents or grandparents were victims of apartheid.

She has implored the school to better scrutinise the educators it hires to avoid a repeat of such incidents.

Crawford College has fired the teacher and reported her to the South African Council for Educators (SACE).
The institution is also reviewing its recruitment process.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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