The Education Department finds that while the school erred in its photo selection, it has since resolved to do better.

The Gauteng Department of Education’s (GDE) preliminary investigation into Curro’s controversial social media post found that while the school erred in its selection of photos to post publicly, it had “resolved to intensify diversity and non-racism programmes” since then.

The department released a statement on Thursday evening detailing the findings of the investigation into the post, which ignited a firestorm on social media after depicting a young black girl working as a cashier as a little white girl hands her groceries to scan during a career day event.

ALSO READ: Gauteng Education says Curro’s value system needs to be investigated

In a statement, Curro acknowledged that “a post we published on social media portraying children in various workplace contexts was offensive due to the inappropriate stereotypes it depicted. The post was in error and has been deleted”.

Preliminary investigation’s findings

“Our findings were that the learners depicted in the pictures used in the social media post were from a Curro school in the Western Cape. They went on an excursion to an activity centre where they interacted within various career contexts using career-specific apparatus,” a statement from the department read.

“In this activity centre, most children had to exchange roles to experience different careers, and photos were taken of them interacting within those career roles. One child could have gone through three to four roles by the end of the day. There is pictorial evidence of different children playing different roles.”

The photos taken on the day were shared internally at the school for a week and there were no objections raised at the time.

ALSO READ: Curro’s racist incidents ‘can’t be ignored’ – psychologist

“The error of judgment was to selectively post pictures that excluded some learners playing in other career roles, causing a public outcry as a result.

“The mother of the learner depicted as a cashier in one of the photos that were posted is aware of the matter and has expressed support for the school. She has also given the school permission to engage in the matter.”

Core values of the school

The department said Curro operates on four core values: child friendliness, Christian ethos, creativity and positive discipline.

“In cases where there are infringements to the core values of the group, those who are found guilty are held accountable.

“In the investigation, Curro Holdings expressed a zero tolerance towards discrimination of any kind, in particular racial discrimination. An example of this is the dismissal of the headmaster at one Curro school, who had called black teachers monkeys.

ALSO READ: EFF calls for ‘racist’ Curro teacher to be axed over ‘monkey’ remark

“Curro has established an ethics and social transformation committee. This committee coordinates programmes and campaigns for transformation, inclusion and social justice in all layers of the school group.

“Curro Holdings also conducts surveys on an annual basis to staff, parents and learners across its campuses to assess, among other things, whether all stakeholders feel included.”

The GDE said most of the results come out positive, though there are some instances of non-inclusion, which Curro Holdings investigates and intervenes in.

School resolves to do better

“This case in question, according to the Deputy CEO, has strengthened the resolve to intensify diversity and non-racism programmes in the school, coupled with the appropriate use of social media.”

Education MEC Matome Chiloane said: “We are satisfied that Curro takes social cohesion seriously. Their footprint in Gauteng’s education system is significant; hence, we will always intervene in matters that involve racial discrimination at schools.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *