Essay About 1976 Soweto Uprising

These factors can certainly be traced back to the Bantu Education Act introduced by the Apartheid government in 1953.

The Act introduced a new Department of Bantu Education which was integrated into the Department of Native Affairs under Dr Hendrik F. The provisions of the Bantu Education Act and some policy statements made by the Bantu Education Department were directly responsible for the uprisings.

The protest was intended to be peaceful and had been carefully planned by the Soweto Students’ Representative Council’s (SSRC) Action Committee, with support from the wider Black Consciousness Movement.

Teachers in Soweto also supported the march after the Action Committee emphasized good discipline and peaceful action.

They rejected the idea of being taught in the language of the oppressor.

The uprising took place at a time when liberation movements were banned throughout the country and South Africa was in the grip of apartheid.In future, if schools teach through a medium not prescribed by the department for a particular subject, examination question papers will only be set in the medium with no option of the other language".Teachers also raised objections to the government announcement.By then, Standard Six had already been phased out and many students graduating from Primary Schools were being sent to the emerging Junior Secondary Schools.It was in these Junior Secondary schools that the 50-50 language rule was to be applied.These instructions drew immediate negative reaction from various quarters of the community.The first body to react was the Tswana School Boards, which comprised school boards from Meadowlands, Dobsonville and other areas in Soweto.Throughout the country there was a dire shortage of classrooms for Black children.There was also a lack of teachers and many of the teachers were under-qualified.To alleviate the situation pupils who had passed their standard six examinations were requested to repeat the standard.This was met with great resentment by the students and their parents.

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