Heritage Perverted By Syllabus

The merits of the letter concerning Heritage Month and how “differences can be used as assets as opposed to tools of conflict” (The Mercury, September 7), unfortunately, are not being realised by aspects of the school syllabus.

The grade 11 History syllabus includes the subject of eugenics which serves as the lens through which race and racism in Australia, Namibia, the US, Germany and apartheid are examined.  Whilst it is important to create awareness of racial atrocities and discrimination in the past, but by not extending that focus to internecine tribal warfare and slavery in Africa and many parts of Asia, the inescapable impression is that only white people are racists.

Not surprisingly recent research on attitudes to race among grade 11 learners found “an uneasiness in accepting and feeling pride in racial identities” (The Post, September 2-8). How else are white learners supposed to feel when only historical negatives are propagated about whites? The lack of balance in the construction of the History syllabus is clearly intended to promote a guilt complex in white learners about their history and heritage. Yet the preamble of the constitution exhorts us to “respect those who have worked to build and develop our country.”

All periods of history are scarred and stained by tragedy and deeply flawed policies. Yet those annals also contain instances of upliftment, achievement and innovation that have proved universally beneficial and worthwhile. Unfortunately, by neglecting that context the current generation is being imbued with a view of the past that is imbalanced and politically motivated.

Sent into The Mercury and published, posted September 8, 2020.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *