Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Monday, March 22, 2004

Truth Commission for Education?

Education Minister Kader Asmal's intention to appoint a truth commission in May to deal with the damage of apartheid education would be a divisive step, Western Cape education minister Andre Gaum said on Monday. It would merely open up old wounds and not contribute to improving the education system, Gaum said in a statement. The money that Asmal wanted to spend on this could much rather be located to provinces such as the Western Cape to appoint more teachers and subsidise school fees. "While it is imperative to remember the past, particularly during our 10-year democracy celebrations, I have instructed my department to focus on the positive developments of the past 10 years and not only on the past," Gaum said. "We are after all celebrating our 10 years of democracy and not our apartheid past. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission dealt with all aspects of the past." There were many other priorities, rather than an education truth commission, which needed urgent attention, said Gaum.