EDUCATION ACT - Results of the Eiselen Commission
Bantu Education Act, no 47 of 1953 merely dealt with the very broad
outlines of the new educational system decided upon by the South
African government. It was amended in 1954, 1956, 1959 and 1961.
It was left to the relevant Minister of Education to make regulations
covering all other educational matters.
This Act, in collaboration with the Bantu Special Education
Act, no 24 of 1964, provided for the control of non-white education,
including teacher training, but excluding their higher education,
to be transferred from churches under the jurisdiction of Provincial
administrations to the central government. The Roman Catholic Church
was the only religious institution that did not close its schools
rather than hand them over to the government.
Various types of schools catered for normal children,
like Bantu community schools, established and maintained by Bantu
Authorities, tribes or communities, and in approved cases subsidised
by the state. Other state aided schools were allowed to exist,
but it was determined that prior to the granting of aid the Minister
of Education had to consider whether the existence of such a
school would preclude or retard the establishment of a community
school. All existing provincial schools became government schools,
and further government schools were allowed to be established.
Special schools catered for handicapped children.
It was illegal for anyone to establish, conduct or maintain
a Bantu school unless this had been registered or exempted from registration.
Registration was the discretion of the Minister, who could impose
conditions on individual schools. Registration could also be cancelled
if stipulated conditions were not compiled with or if, after an inquiry
by the Bantu Affairs Commission the Minister was satisfied that the
existence of the school was not in the interest of the Bantu people.
The Minister of Education was empowered to establish regional
or local boards, committees or other bodies to which he could entrust
the control and management of one or more government or community
schools. Alternatively, control was to be entrusted to a Bantu Authority,
which was dominated by largely uneducated people appointed by the
Bantu Education Board. Any school board or committee could be disbanded
if, after an inquiry had been held, the Minister deemed it to be
Teachers in community or state aided schools fell under the
control of the person or body vested with control of the school concerned.