SADTU statement on reports of racism at Curro School

22 June 2015

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) is shocked and angered by reports of alleged racism at the Curro Foundation School, the second in a spate of five months.

If these reports are proven to be true, they are an indication that this school has no interest in building a new, non-racial society in South Africa. It means the chorus of disapproval from many South Africans with the first reports, fell onto deaf ears.

The school won’t admit that they are racist, but their actions and words can be proven otherwise. Their justification that the learners were separated according to their languages is shocking. One of the main purposes of education is to build social cohesion. By segregating the learners during an excursion is further promoting segregation.  

As SADTU we reiterate the call we made earlier in the year when the  first incident was reported, for a national commission of enquiry into racism in schools as we believe that racism  still exists in some former Model C and independent schools.

We welcomed Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi’s call for an enquiry but we want to see this at a national level.

The Curro school as profit making school must lose its license if we are serious about ridding our country of racism. It is a waste of time to conduct unending enquiries into Curro practices because the management is controlled by racist parents who have no regards for the constitution. To them the constitution is applicable when it protects the property clause.

We further call on government to review the funding of independent schools as we believe education is a public good and should therefore not be privatised.  Judging by South Africa’s past, the country has a tall order to build common citizenship and education has a responsibility to teach our people to live together. Such acts by Curro schools undermine efforts towards a common citizenry.

The parents who protect the actions of that school should be ashamed of themselves as they are killing the future of their children by allowing them to be subjected to stereotyping that has no place in this country.
As SADTU we won’t allow to be used to reverse the gains we have made towards ensuring a non-racial South Africa.

We therefore call upon the MEC to close it down with immediate effect. We further call upon our people to expose racism being practiced in other schools because the Human Rights Commission will never help us. Some of these institutions were created to protect the rich and not the poor.