Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Farm School Infrastructure in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

Pillay, Nischolan (2022) Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Farm School Infrastructure in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. Mobility, Knowledge and Innovation Hubs in Urban and Regional Development. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2022, 27th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 323-330. ISSN 2521-3938

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South Africa is a country that has a rich history of segregation of races driven by a minority government. Through the ill system of apartheid, several aspects of human life became intolerable, one of which was the education system. The introduction of the Bantu Education Act of 1953 indoctrinated African learners by educating them to perform menial tasks and manual labour, becoming subservient to the white minority. This “knee on throat” system further oppressed Africans, making it difficult to progress and preserving the idea of education being a privilege and not a right. The act played out at various “black” schools in South Africa, especially farm schools, which created an economic benefit for the farmers. The farm school became a factory to create a new labour force, whose parents were smoke screened to believe paid education would benefit their children. In 1994, a new dawn for all the people of South Africa promised hope and freedom. The government promulgated laws that would benefit citizens’ human rights and allow those who needed them the most. The redress of education policies aimed at giving all South Africans a fair opportunity for education; however, this is seldom the case in most of the country’s impoverished rural and farm schools. The government, through legal frameworks, aims to convert schools on commercial farms to normal stateowned and managed institutions, removing the dependence on the farm owners. However, this process has been arduous, and the farmers’ kick has been great to the extent that children and teachers are restricted from entering the premises. Regular intervention by police and government officials assists; however, this is not long-term management of deep-seated problems. Although the government has taken many steps in the right direction, at the very core, farm schools still suffer from infrastructural issues that are so profoundly entrenched in the buildings that it is difficult to dismantle. Perhaps, like most of South Africa, the apartheid regime is built in brick and mortar. These farm schools, in most instances, do not comply with the basic regulations of the South African Schools Act of 1996. However, these schools continue to operate and educate students across the country. Using a phenomenological paradigm and a qualitative approach, this research uses semi-structured interviews conducted at two farm schools in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, to gather rich data from participants. This study is limited by cost and time. The researcher used a purposive sampling technique to identify four participants who were probed on different aspects of the farm school infrastructure and experiences working and using the facilities. This research aims to understand the challenges and opportunities that farm schools offer. Findings from the data reveal that although farm schools have several infrastructural challenges, the staff and community adapt the use of these buildings to suit the needs of the activities, albeit with challenges. The researcher proposes adaptive reuse of the infrastructure to suit a school’s programme and provide space for a community.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: South Africa , Adaptive reuse, Infrastructure, Rural, Farm Schools
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: The CORP Team
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2022 17:53
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2022 14:06
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/916

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