Edition 4, 2001: Compulsory State Education For All


Christians take a stand for parental control of education! The philosophy of education in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next generation.

The Biblical world view is a "historical anachronism" (Prof. Kader Asmal) .

"Under no circumstances" should assemblies be used as "occasions for religious observance." 

"... Schools could influence children's ideas about sex and relationships even before the onset of intimate encounters... and in imparting the fundamental values of our Constitution" (The Manifesto of Values, Education and Democracy, p. 8). "The intrusion of an adult - whether a teacher or not into the sexuality of children is a form of child molestation that can be just as harmful as an actual attack by a child molester." (Dr Melvin Anchell). 

Home schoolers want to"impose their loony, paranoid and perverse ideas on the nation" (Prof. Kader Asmal)

"There has, I regret to say, been an orchestrated and bizarre campaign against this revision . . . Regrettably, they lie in the same source of groupings which recently lost their appeal to the Constitutional Court to be allowed to beat their children." (Prof. Kader Asmal)

A Radical Attempt at Social Engineering

The Department of Education (DoE) has released The Draft Revised National Curriculum Statement (NCS) - the revised version of Curriculum 2005. This new curriculum is a radical attempt at social engineering. It is based on Outcomes Based Education (OBE) - an education system that has failed in nearly every country where it was introduced. "Outcomes Based Education has an overwhelming emphasis upon each student's social, ethical and emotional development. Traditional skills are de-emphasized by OBE and, in their place, attention is devoted to attitudes, self-esteem, and other affective (feelings or emotions) learning behaviours. All children will have to demonstrate correct attitudes to a wide schools regardless of "freedom of conscience, religion or belief." This effectively gives the state a complete monopoly of school education in South Africa, but more significantly it potentially blocks a "Christian School Movement" from happening in South Africa. This is a serious attack on civil liberties, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. It should never be forgotten that parents pay taxes and above that school fees. The state is accountable to parents. The state should be serving the taxpayers / parents. Both parents and state are accountable to the Sovereign Creator God.

The Myth of Neutrality

The NCS very deceitfully makes the pretence that 'their' education is "neutral" and inculcates "South Africa's values of nation-building".2 Such "neutrality" is a myth! These values are informed by Marxist and secular humanism. What few people realise is that all education is religious.3 The US National Supreme Court has declared Humanism a religion. Humanism is the religion of secular government. R.J. Rushdoony claims that the outcome of humanistic education is either anarchistic individuals or totalitarianism (because under humanism, man is either autonomous - a law unto himself - or man is guided to be accountable to the broader collective society, apart from God, which finds its authority and expression in the state). Rushdoony goes on to claim that even if humanistic education has a Christian Religious Education programme attached to it, the results will be the same, since the child learns that his Christianity only applies to personalised religion/spirituality, but is irrelevant to the rest of life. This was clearly evidenced by humanist Christian National Education, as propagated by the National Party.

What Actually is in the New Curriculum 2005?

Prof Kader Asmal (Minister of Education) has attacked private schooling, not on the basis of inferior standards, but rather because, they "do not share the philosophical underpinnings of the national curriculum, and do not support the outcomes of Curriculum 2005".4 Furthermore, he has attacked home schoolers as attempting to "impose their loony, paranoid and perverse ideas on the nation." 5 The arrogance of this statement is self-evident, as home schoolers compete within the open market with their curricula, with families having the right to choose the type of education they want for their children. In contrast, Prof Asmal wants to remove that right and impose his secular humanistic state values on everyone, overriding their freedoms to choose. Curriculum 2005 is actually in their words, "an attempt to impose their loony, paranoid and perverse ideas on the nation."

The values of the NCS are guided by The Manifesto of Values, Education and Democracy.6 
According to this manifesto: "...(it) offers ways to promote the values of the Constitution through the educational system. They are applicable to all within education, from departmental officials, politicians and parents to educators, community members, private sector business-people and learners."7 "… the Constitution can be taught, as part of the curriculum, and brought to life in the classroom, as well as applied practically in programmes and policy making by educators, administrators, governing bodies and officials."

"... Schools could influence children's ideas about sex and relationships even before the onset of intimate encounters, and play a unique role in changing the course of the epidemic - and in imparting the fundamental values of our Constitution."9

It is clear that these values are those informed by the constitution, a constitution that declares itself "the supreme law" in South Africa (which is blasphemous as only God's Law is supreme). The South African constitution is the only constitution in the world that explicitly protects murder (abortion under 'reproductive rights') and bisexuality, homosexuality and transsexuality (and possibly soon also paedophilia) under 'sexual orientation.' 

Even the purpose of the three R's - reading, writing and arithmetic - is there to further the Constitution as opposed to, first and foremost, serving God. "ENSURING THAT EVERY SOUTH AFRICAN IS ABLE TO READ, WRITE, COUNT AND THINK is the nub of education. There are critical deficiencies at many South African schools. The challenge is that without the ability to read, write, count and think, it is impossible to participate effectively in democracy and in society, and it is therefore impossible to internalise and to live out the values of the Constitution."10

The strategy is clear - radically restructure teacher training: "Pre-service educator training should focus specifically on commitment as well as competence: it should emphasise that, for teachers to be competent, they should be committed to the values embodied in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and understand what these values mean."11 To be declared competent, a teacher must commit to the values embodied in the constitution! The purpose of a teacher now moves from being one who teaches skills and knowledge, to one who indoctrinates: "The "Code of Conduct" of the South African Council of Educators - a statutory body - defines an educator as one who "strives to enable learners to develop a set of values consistent with those upheld in the Bill of Rights as contained in the Constitution of South Africa."12 "To internalise and live out the values of the constitution" is the language of religion ? not neutrality. To "be committed to the values embodied in the constitution" is a political religion.

If the role of teachers becomes one of "developing values", rather than teaching disciplines, won't learning suffer? Unfortunately, already across the South African education spectrum, academics are suffering and this is something we can ill afford: "Our educational performance, as a country, is in a critical state. As Mokubung Nkomo of the Human Sciences Research Council told the Saamtrek conference, South Africa is facing a 'state of emergency' because of its international ratings in key educational performance indicators." 13 

Mandatory Sex Education 14 

Planned Parenthood Association South Africa (PPASA) has won the tender for teacher sex education training nationally. PPASA is far from neutral - they lobbied our government to legalise abortion and for lesbians to access artificial fertilisation. Planned Parenthood International is the world's largest abortion provider. It therefore should not surprise anyone, that nowhere in the NCS is there any mention of abstinence education, and that at Grade 8 level, children will learn that "abortion is a human right." 15 

"Sexuality is the most profound meeting place of nature and culture. At its best sexuality allows us to give ourselves over to feeling. To other people. To the world. To say yes to our souls and fundamentally to our bodies. But, sexuality is also where we experience most intensely the demands of a religion, morality and culture in general." Judy Nokwedi-Fortuin, loveLife - Saamtrek conference, February 2001(p.53). 16 

Typical of the Planned Parenthood strategy, is to turn children against traditional family and religious values. "There will be specific components in the Life Orientation learning area, at all levels that deal with reproductive health and sexuality education - not as an add-on or optional subject, but as a mandatory part of the curriculum."17 The NCS does little to promote the 'family'; instead it aims to "promote a broad understanding of the concept 'family'" (Social Sciences, History, Grade 5, Values and Approach) - this of course would include homosexuals, bisexuals, polygamous families and "live in" couples.

In America, where public schools have had a radical liberal sex education of this nature, research has confirmed again and again that exposure to sex education of this nature has resulted in the doubling of teenage pregnancies and increased STDs, despite the so-called safer sex message. However, when religious sex education is taught, which promotes abstinence and chastity before marriage and sexual faithfulness inside of marriage, teenage pregnancies are proven to be reduced by half the national average. Furthermore, "since the federal government (USA) began its major contraceptive program in 1970, unwed pregnancies have increased 87 percent among fifteen-to nineteen-year olds. Likewise, abortions among teens rose 67 percent; unwed births went up 61 percent."18 According to Dr Melvin Anchell, author of Preteen and Teenage Sex, "The intrusion of an adult - whether a teacher or not into the sexuality of children is a form of child molestation that can be just as harmful as an actual attack by a child molester." 

Bible and Prayer to be Replaced with Diversity and Political Indoctrination

The ANC committed itself in 1995 to religious education based on the ethos of the particular local communities, but with this NCS, religion education has undergone a radical shift. The previous education minister had, through a more democratic process, involving both educational stakeholders and religious communities, decided that communities could choose the type of education for their schools. Weeks before this policy was about to be implemented, Prof. Asmal reversed the policy, and personally selected a task force of scholars to draw up a new multi-religious policy which is to be imposed on everyone irrespective of freedom of religion! It is true that the previous government used Christian National Education to serve the state, thereby wrongfully exploiting Christianity for its own ends, but now the ANC is also aiming to use religion for its own political ends. Whatever happened to the separation of church and state? Consider this quote: "Schools can reinforce the Constitution by using "religion education" to reaffirm the values of diversity, tolerance, respect, justice, compassion and commitment in young South Africans."19 Is religion to again be abused to promote a political agenda? 

The Manifesto on Values, Education and Democracy claims that "under no circumstances" should assemblies be used as "occasions for religious observance", this despite if learners and parents requested it. Instead assemblies are to become "forums where diversity is celebrated, along with the values of our Constitution." This could include a radical humanistic oath of alliance to self and the values of the constitution.20 "Religion Education" will be taught by teachers after they have undergone "significant retraining". "Professional clergy" will be denied access to learners during school hours. Schools will only be 'allowed' to make themselves available to single faiths after school hours on a voluntary, free and equitable basis.21 This would mean no more prayer and Bible in assemblies and no more Scripture Union or youth pastors visiting school during school hours.

In the classroom, children will be exposed to:

  • Describe the worship practices of at least three religions apart from their own. (Life Orientation, Learning Outcome 2, Grade 3)
  • Describe 2 values from at least 4 belief systems in South Africa (Life Orientation, Learning Outcome 2, Grade 4).
  • Discuss the significance of sacred space in at least 4 belief systems in South Africa (Life Orientation, Learning Outcome 2, Grade 6).
  • Describe how nature can be a source of social and spiritual health (Life Orientation, Learning Outcome 1, Grade 6).

Christian education experts are concerned that exposure of children to other religions at such a young age will only confuse them, and recommend exposure to other religions in about Grade 9 or 10, when he/she will hopefully be mature enough to grapple with these issues.

History Education or Political Indocrination?

"History will be taught in a way that will include the experiences of ordinary people, rural and urban workers, and of women as well as men, and it will specifically address human rights issues such as 'prejudice, persecution, oppression, exploitation, sexism and racism, xenophobia, genocide and other forms of discrimination'." 22

The idea of "conflict" through prejudice, oppression, exploitation, etc. is typical of a Marxist view of history. Once again History is used to serve the state: "Process of constructing knowledge from sources and evidence is shaped by the values of the Constitution" (Social Sciences, History, Grades R, 1 and 2, Values and Approach). 

Other biased interpretations of history include: "promote an awareness of the violation of human rights in the period including Islamic slavery, through such Christian men as Wilberforce, Livingstone and Gordon. Instead, our children would be forced to learn an imaginative fantasy about the peaceful spread of Islam, their education centres and trade. Islam's ongoing participation in slavery will probably be as ignored as their historical role!"

History will also be used to propagate the unscientific and racist theory of evolution - "the unfolding history of human evolution" (Social Sciences, History, Grade 7 Focus).

Even Sport is to be Used to Serve a Political Agenda

Every learning area in the NCS is to serve the state and enforce the constitution - even sport: "The language of sport, and its efficacy as a tool of community building, rests on commonly accepted rules of engagement, the adherence to which reinforces the need for a commitment to a common social code, indeed, to the Constitution itself."23 This despite teachers belief that there is too much emphasis on "human rights" - "Research at schools on values and democracy indicates that 78,4% of educators believe "the government puts too much emphasis on human rights, which leads to problems in our classroom."24 It is not surprising then that schools suffer with discipline and teaching and learning problems.

We need a return to Biblical Christian Education. Teachers and textbooks, which mold and fill children's minds, need to be accountable to parents.

Education According to the Bible

Deut. 6: 6-7 declares, "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up, …" The laws and ways of God implies more than just "religious education" but how God and His Word applies to all of life, to every faculty of learning and every subject - it implies a Biblical worldview.25 Note that the command to teach has been given to the parents or the institution of the family, and not to the state. So important is this command to teach our children the commands of God that it is repeated almost word for word in Deut. 11: 18-20. Clearly this command is important to God. God works through generations, and the covenant blessings flow through the family, from generation to generation (to a thousand generations, Deut 7:9). Deut. 4: 8-9 "And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them". Education plays a vital link in the covenantal chain that flows from parents to child. The responsibility to educate children has been given to parents, the task of schooling may be delegated, but the responsibility cannot - every parent will give an account before God for how he/she handled this God-given responsibility. 

How Were the Standards of Education when Schools Were in the Hands of Parents?

In the USA from 1620-1837, education was in the hands of families (home schooling) and the church. The primary textbook was the Bible. Alexis de Tocquecille (1835) came from post-revolutionary France (where they had debates on "intellectual" secular humanist philosophy in the place of church sermons) and could not believe the outstanding levels of literacy in the USA under their Christian home schooling education system. This education system was unsurpassed in the world, with nearly a 100% literacy rate - only four in a thousand were functionally illiterate.26 This strong Christian education system played a significant role in making America the most prosperous nation of all time. Children by the age of 10 could speak Greek, and to get into university a person had to be able to debate in Latin! The following quote by ten-year-old John Quincy Adams in a letter to his father dated 2 June, 1777, shows the high levels of intellectual and emotional maturity within that Christian culture: P.S. - Sir, If you would be so good as to favor me with a blank-book I will transcribe the most remarkable occurrences I meet with in my reading, which will serve to fix them upon my...

However, once compulsory state (public) education came into being (first recommended by Karl Marx about 150 years ago) standards have continued to drop. Today over one third of all children leaving the compulsory state schools are functionally illiterate (they may be able to read and write, but with little to no comprehension), despite a huge national budget, and massive amounts of tax-payers' money thrown at state schools. In 1815, the average age of criminals in the United States was 45, in 1960, 19.28 When prayer, The Bible and the Ten Commandments were taken out of schools in the 1960s, Christian families were finally wedged between poor academic standards and anti-Christian values. This effectively gave rise to the home school movement, where today six to seven million children of the 42 million school-going population are home or Christian schooled. And the results? They are the most sought after University students. Most Christian School Curricula claim success rates of one and a half to three years above national American averages in reading, spelling, mathematics and other basic skills.29 Christian schools have traditionally produced the finest citizens - honest, hard-working, generous, charitable, faithful, God-fearing, which in turn gives rise to strong families - the building block of any great nation. True Biblical Christian education has always produced the highest scholarship in the world, because Biblical Christians know what they believe and why; and what they do not believe and why.

"You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts." Ps. 119:98-100.

The "Christian School Movement" came on the back of some strong Biblical teaching. State education presupposes that our children belong to the state; they are their property, clearly placing a wedge between the family and the child and usurping the sovereignty of God. Biblically speaking, our children belong to the LORD. Parents and the family are stewards of that which belongs to God. God's Word requires the death penalty for Moloch worship (Lev. 18:21; 20:2). What few people realize is that Moloch worship was sinful, not only because it required children to pass through the fire (child sacrifice), but also because it was idolatry. Moloch worship was the belief that whoever was the king was god incarnate - hence it was the worship of the state. This would include believing that our children belong to the state, to be raised in the faith of the state and to serve the state, instead of serving God.

Christians March to Parliament to Oppose the NCS

On 13th November 2001, about 2000 Christians from a wide cross section of churches, including prominent Cape Town churches of Good Hope Christian Centre and His People Church30, marched to Parliament to hand over a memorandum to Maxwell Fuxani, chief director of Ministerial Services, on behalf of Education Minister Kader Asmal. Despite the intense heat, the crowd was an excellent witness of Christ's love and unity, with spontaneous songs and prayer breaking out. African Christian Democratic Party leader, Rev Kenneth Meshoe, addressed the crowd, showing the current sex education pornographic charts and graphics used in our schools. Under the new curriculum, sex education will become mandatory at all levels regardless of parent choice.

The memorandum handed over by the marchers to the Ministry of Education declared that: 

  • The testing and evaluation of children's values through state specified outcomes should be scrapped as this is a violation of conscience and privacy.
  • Parents / community should continue to have the right to choose the religious ethos of schools through School Governing Bodies. 
  • Independent (including religious schools) and home schools be protected from state imposed outcomes. 
  • The sex education be accountable to parents and be of a nature of their choice and in line with their values (e.g. chastity before marriage). 
  • Religion education be of their choice and that learning about different religions happens at an age appropriate time (e.g. grade 9); and
  • That children are the property of God and their parents and not the property of the state to do with them as the state pleases. 

Another demonstration, attended by about 400, was held in Pretoria at the Union Buildings on the same day.

UCA Makes a Stand for Parental Control of Education at Parliament 

United Christian Action was blessed to be allowed to make an oral submission in Parliament at the Ministerial Conference called by Minister Asmal. The Association of Muslim Schools stated that "in Independent Muslim Schools, the Islamic worldview therefore will permeate all the Learning Programmes, highlighting the Islamic code of beliefs and values, and morals and conduct... the Association reserves the right to select Islamically appropriate content (knowledge, concepts, skills, values and attitudes) and approaches and methods to achieve these methods." No one in the DoE dared to challenge or even ask a question on this stand-point, although this is the very same freedom that Christians are asking for. Just days before, Kader Asmal had again lashed out at Christians claiming that the Biblical worldview was a "historical anachronism" and that Christian parents are "right-wing fundamentalists" because they believe in a "truth". He went on to say, "I intend to resist these right-wing conservative tendencies, and I will use the constitution as the sole basis of my approach". 

At Minister Asmal's conference, anyone who presented a remotely Christian stand-point (i.e. decentralised model with responsibility given to parents and values to be in line with the parent's faith) was barraged with questions "hoping they might find a charge on which to accuse Him" Jn 8:6. The double standards are starkly obvious. Kader Asmal released his introductory comments, which included yet another attack on Christians - "There has, I regret to say, been an orchestrated and bizarre campaign against this revision . . . Regrettably, they lie in the same source of groupings which recently lost their appeal to the Constitutional Court to be allowed to beat their children"! In his concluding comments, he revealed that while the DoE received 200 submissions, they also received 10,000 letters (obviously from Christians). He asked that they should stop sending them as they were of "no value". Ten thousand letters, is a ground swell of concern and any government committed to democracy should sit up, listen and take heed. 

Kader Asmal Shouts at UCA Representative During Parliamentary Submissions 

Representing UCA, Rob Mc Cafferty, made oral submissions similar to the memorandum handed over at the march. He argued that given our country's prejudiced past, it is sad that the Minister of Education, Prof. Kader Asmal has felt fit to demonise Christians. He called on the DoE to be gracious, democratic, and tolerant of other belief systems. He called for a national policy of accountability and transparency where all schools declare their outcomes, class content and content of teacher's manuals up-front (esp. for religion and sex education) so that parents can make informed decisions about the choice of school they send their children too. Furthermore, parents should be given powers to select learning programmes in line with their conscience, beliefs and values at School Governing Body level. No child should be forced to partake in any of these 'family-issue' classes. This would apply particularly to sex and religion education. Mc Cafferty also raised concerns over the radical liberal Western style Planned Parenthood sex education (which has failed hopelessly in the USA) and, which being foreign to Africa, was tantamount to moral colonialism. Unfortunately, Kader Asmal then began shouting at him, calling on him to deal with the NCS directly only. Mc Cafferty responded by pointing out that Prof. Asmal himself has said that sex education will be mandatory. Mc Cafferty then produced copies of current Life Orientation text books, endorsed by the DoE, which contained sexually explicit material.

Asmal's Attacks Parental Choice and Freedom as "Self Empowerment" and "Tyranny"

Kader Asmal closed the conference saying that community empowerment (i.e. parental choice through School Governing Bodies, the decentralised model) was an excuse for "self-empowerment" of those that advocate such a model. Prof. Asmal said that any school that was neutral would allow for tyranny and all education systems were not value-free (citing positively amongst others the Soviet Union). He said "the new tyranny" was one of "privatisation" that would try and move away from the 29 000 uniform state schools. He said that all schools need to be registered otherwise they will not be recognised and that home learners must conform to the minimum standard as defined by the constitution.

At the close of the conference, Prof. Linda Chisholm (head of the revised draft NCS committee) said in response to the assessment of values, "this is only a problem if you believe that knowledge and skills are value free". Notice that both the Muslims and the humanists like Chisholm clearly understood that values and religious beliefs influence all areas of life. This is something Christians are beginning to grasp once again - there is no neutrality in education. Skills, knowledge (and values) are either Christian or some form of humanism. In the book, Humanism: A New Religion , the author writes, "education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?"


Let us choose Christian education in the true sense of the word, raise our children to be firmly grounded in the ways and commands of God, knowing that Biblical Christianity applies to all of life - from education, economics, politics, welfare, science, mathematics, language, etc. Let us commit to raising the next generation to be the Christian leaders our country so badly needs.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowldege, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the Law of your God, I also will ignore your children." Hosea 4:6

"We will not hide them from ourchildren; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders He has done... so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands." Ps 78: 4,6,7

by Rob Mc Cafferty (M Ed) with Dr. Peter Hammond

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa info@christianaction.org.za - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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