The contestation, ambiguities and dilemmas of curriculum development at the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College, 1978-1992
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The main problem being investigated is why there were such divergent views on the appropriate curriculum for ANC education-in-exile from within the ANC, and in the light of this contestation, what happened in reality to curriculum practice at the institutions. The arguments for Academic, Political and Polytechnic Education are contextualized in the curriculum debates of the times, that is, the 20th century international policy discourse, the African curriculum debates and Apartheid Education in South Africa. This study examines how Academic Education, despite the sharp debates, was institutionalised at the SOMAFCO High School. It also analyses the arguments for and various notions of Political and Polytechnic Education as well as what happened to these in practice at the school. The SOMAFCO Primary School went through three phases of curriculum development. The school opened in 1980 under a ‘caretaker’ staff and without a structured curriculum. During the second phase 1980-1982 a progressive curriculum was developed by Barbara and Terry Bell. After the Bells resigned in 1982, a conventional academic curriculum was implemented by Dennis September, the new principal.