Education MEC Debbie Schäfer File picture: Independent Media Archives

Cape Town - The Department of Basic Education is using Africa Month to plan for a curriculum overhaul from a Eurocentric model to an Afrocentric system - to be phased in over the years.

Meanwhile, MEC of Education Debbie Schäfer said in its submissions, her department would focus on the province’s demographic and historically-excluded groups to be included in the new curriculum.

The national department will make the official announcement on Monday.

It is understood the new curriculum would be phased in over a six-year period from next year.

A task team set up by the department postponed the release of the report, initially scheduled for on Friday.

The report looked into making History a compulsory subject.

The report will also be released on Monday.

Departmental spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said recommendations at a basic education lekgotla in January, were made for the curriculum to be more inclusive of the African indigenous knowledge system.

“The recommendations are not (meant) to replace the curriculum with another, but to include appropriate aspects of African knowledge in each subject and across the curriculum, as applicable.”

Hammond said the department conducted national subject committee meetings attended by Western Cape Education Department (WCED) officials.

“At these meetings, the recommendation that the curriculum should be more inclusive of African Indigenous knowledge systems was discussed, per subject,” she said.

Hammond said the WCED would make collated inputs at national co-ordinating meetings in the coming six months.

The national lekgotla of 2019 would assess the merits and workability of the changes proposed by the subject teams, she said.

However, she said, the curriculum would not become Afrocentric, but would be more “socially justly inclusive of African indigenous knowledge systems”.

She said the systems would take into consideration the province’s unique demographic and historically excluded groups such as the indigenous Khoisan.

The WCED issued a communication to all districts and schools requesting them to organise activities for Africa Day.

“The celebrations highlight African solidarity, unity in diversity, creativity, challenges and successes, and the cultural and economic potential of our continent.

“This celebration is also a platform for the continent to engage and build stronger networks and partnerships at various levels across national and international boundaries,” Hammond said.

Weekend Argus