History Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

How did the Bantu Education Act affect people's lives?

Expert Answers info

Stephanie Macrinos eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write100 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

The Bantu Education Act of 1953 legalized aspects of the South African apartheid system, particularly segregated educational systems. Many "tribal" schools, denied proper financial support from the South African government, were forced to close down, denying thousands of native Africans an education. Universities, too, were affected by the Bantu Act.

The government claimed the act was passed in an effort to solve the ongoing ethic and racial tensions in South Africa, but many believe it was a tactic which forced black and non-white youth into the unskilled labor market, while white youth were set up for success. Many black and non-white children who lost a quality education due to the Bantu Act grew to experience economic strife.

The Bantu Education Act resulted in increased racial tensions, a drop in national educational standards, and the denial of a quality education to thousands of South African children.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Steph Müller eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write1,323 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Business, and Social Sciences

Thanks to the Bantu Education Act, which was effective from 1953 to 1980, the education of black children in South Africa was controlled by the apartheid government.

The mission schools which black children had attended prior to this were shut down, meaning that the children had no option but to attend schools governed by the Bantu Education Act.

The Act was more than just another strategy to keep South Africa's population segregated—it was a way to ensure that black children were provided with just a menial education, which prepared them for jobs as manual laborers and servants.

The syllabus was also designed to indoctrinate the idea of inferiority into black children.

To add insult to injury, this education was taught in three languages: the child's mother tongue, English, and Afrikaans. The inclusion of Afrikaans eventually led to the Soweto Uprising on June 16, 1976.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial