Is Shakespeare still relevant to SA's school curriculum?

Spokesperson for the minister of Basic Education, Troy Martens, says the Department is looking at "decolonisation” of the curriculum.

A recent report in the Business Day suggests that we might start seeing less of William Shakespeare’s works being taught in South African schools, or perhaps an elimination altogether.

Martens says reviewing of the curriculum is something they've been gradually doing since 1999.

At this stage there is no decision that's has been made to basically eliminate Shakespeare.

Troy Martens, Spokesperson for the minister of Basic Education

There is a discussion happening as part of our long term goal for 2020 - 2030 is to look at the relevance of some of our literature and make use of indigenous knowledge system within our curriculum to look at more African perhaps South African literature.

Troy Martens, Spokesperson for the minister of Basic Education

Martens says by 2020 they would like to see every school in the country offering at least one indigenous language.

Although he could not offer his views on wether Shakespeare should be scrapped off the curriculum, Prof Chris Thurman, associate professor of English Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand says it is desirable for learners to encounter Shakespeare outside the classroom, through theatre plays and other forms.

There's a way of experiencing Shakespeare in South Africa which is not just bound to the curriculum

Prof Chris Thurman Associate professor of English Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand

Listen below to hear more discussions on the subject:


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