‘Retold’ history books donated

Heathfield High School matriculant Dr Ruben Richards has donated a copy of his book, Bastaards or Humans – the unspoken heritage of coloured people (Vol 1) to every public high school in the Western Cape.

Dr Richards gave 400 copies
of the book to Western Cape MEC for Education, Debbie Schäfer during a ceremony at Heathfield High School last Friday, March 9.

“The book attempts to retell the story of South Africa’s origins through the eyes of coloured South Africans and tries to explain why and how the once proud indigenous owners of the land and its resources were relegated to the margins of history,” said Ms Schäfer.

“Our history curriculum has not been inclusive enough of our diverse heritage. It is important that we learn the whole history of our country so we can heal and move forward. The book goes a long way in doing this, and I hope that this book will make a positive contribution to schools across the Western Cape.”

She said they were supporting the integration of the work into the history curriculum and
would be distributing the books to high schools across the pro-
vince.

Westerford High School piloted the integration of the content of the book into the history teaching syllabus.

They will be using aspects of the book in the Grade 9 curriculum where it will contribute to the teaching and learning of the focus on “identities” when teaching both Holocaust history and South African apartheid history.

It will be used when teaching the Grade 11 topic on “Competing Nationalism and Identities” and they will be using the research in Bastaards or Humans to formulate a new topic for the Grade 10 curriculum which will be taught from 2018.

The Ruben Richards Foundation said they hope the book will inspire and energise pupils and teachers alike and thereby make a positive contribution to the world of ideas through a robust engagement with books, reading and writing.

Wesley Neuman, acting principal of Heathfield High School, describes the book as: “A lively and very challenging retelling of the history of South Africa from a first nation perspective – a rare and brilliant work … (a history) retold with boldness and accuracy – a narrative which has been hidden and/or under emphasised in our current curriculum An outstanding treasure chest, best described as a comprehensive and engaging reference book”.