Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Apartheid-era school names: 'What's in a name?'

As Shakespeare said 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself’

Despite little movement from Western Cape schools around addressing apartheid-era school names, many were left asking what’s in a name, and why do they need to change it?
On Monday, the Cape Argus reported that Western Cape schools are in no rush to change apartheid-era names, following the news that learners at Rietondale High School in Gauteng, formerly known as Hoërskool Hendrik Verwoerd, celebrated their new school name.

Since 2015, schools in the province have had the option to change their colonial or apartheid-era school names but none within the province have done so.

In response, many were left asking why would a name change even be necessary?

Thina Nelo: "We have more important things to worry about seriously!!"

Zeenat Khan: "Change the name and then? Will the students suddenly become independent thinkers and know how to file taxes? Will students become better citizens? Will violence come to an end? It’s time the authorities step out for their plush offices, paid for by taxpayers, and into the REAL world."

Yoland van der Byl: "Actually a pointless exercise. Days gone by everything named Rhodes was changed to Voortrekker, Voortrekker to Nelson Mandela. The time will come when everything Nelson Mandela will be changed to Julius Malema or who knows. An absolute waste of money."

Sherry Skibbe: "Maybe change names to things like integrity or and grace or hope high school names that mean something that people can be positive about."

Edward Nemutamvuni: "It’s useless exercise. We must forgive and move on. I don’t have any problem with names and infrastructure of the past."

Leave a comment and let us know how you feel about the idea of changing apartheid-era school names?

Edited by: Aneeqa du Plessis

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