In the beginning of class on Wednesday we talked to Tamarin over Skype. We went over our projects just to clarify how we can put most effort into our work. It is very helpful talking to Tamarin because she knows what is going on in South Africa right now. Without her, it would be difficult for us to plan our community service, because we would not know what the people we will be working with actually need.
We also talked about the South African history that we have been assigned to read about the past weeks. It was a fun discussion and I thought we all brought up interesting points. One point that was brought up, which I have been thinking a lot about myself, is how apartheid did not end long ago.
It is so hard for me to imagine racism to that extent happened so recently, and how it came to an end so recently. Something that really got me thinking was when Professor Gallay told us how black people are nowadays given jobs before white people. He told us that the only problem is that black people do not always have the education required for these jobs due to being held back by apartheid. Neither do they want the white people to teach them considering the last time they did that they formed the Bantu Education Act that held black people back. I think this issue really proves to us that even if apartheid came to an end in the early 1990s the country is still suffering badly from it. Knowing that the white government caused all these problems, and still has benefits in the country today by having more knowledge and meeting job requirements is frustrating.
When Professor Gallay told us about the job issue I related it again, as I have done before, to Bermuda. The more I read about South Africa, the more I can relate to the country that I live in.
In Bermuda, the Bermudians are supposed to get jobs, if they are qualified for the jobs, before any foreigner. Unfortunately there are more jobs than qualified Bermudians, which is why a lot of foreigners are employed to do the work in the country. Bermuda has some really good schools which also results in some very well educated students and successful workers, but the island also has many schools that are not as good. Even if it is not exactly the same situation as in South Africa, I still believe both countries have bad systems that are hard to break.
A few questions arose when I thought about this. How can black South Africans get into a good educational system that will let them gain just as much knowledge as the white people?
How can all schools in Bermuda improve and help all their students fulfill the requirements of the jobs in the country?
How can a country break these bad educational systems and avoid leaving some citizens out, and instead get their citizens involved?
I think the answer to these questions both in Bermuda and in South Africa is time. The schools in Bermuda are improving and hopefully we will notice the improvements shortly. And South Africa is still wounded from apartheid, they are recovering from it, but it will take them many years to fully recover. And it will take many years for the races to gain trust for each other. Hopefully we will notice improvements in the South Africa system soon as well.