Today during our tour of Robben Island, Vanessa validated our notions that there are a handful of local schools that are not doing their part in educating students about the history of South Africa.
Just as we have had difficulty understanding how we cannot find a proper wireless internet connection in all of Seapoint since we don’t experience this problem back in the States, Vanessa explained to us that children in South Africa have trouble understanding the grave injustices of apartheid since they didn’t experience it growing up. I think that the museum’s attempt at helping these children understand history by subjecting them to toned down scenarios from Robben Island Prison is brilliant.
Vanessa explained how certain tour guides speak to them in a different tongue, shackle them together on the ferry ride over (note: before you call the Child Protective Service Agency, please know these are paper shackles), make them march in rows of 2 as they enter the prison, and make them sit on the lower level of the boat to induce sea sickness. One program also enabled school children to rewrite the Freedom Charter of 1955 to reflect the problems that they now face in 2012. It’s interesting to note that at the top of the list was education. But with no guidance from their teachers or schools, will the lost generation ever be found?