AbstractEven to the casual observer, it is apparent that there is a definite relationship between the education of the child, his cultural heritage, and the cultural environment within which the educational enterprise is set in motion. The status and position of culture as educational objective, however, has become problematic, especially in a country like South Africa where cultural differences have for many decades provided the foundation for serious disparities in the provision of education to its citizens. Where the RSA is apparently on the verge of radical and far-reaching change regarding its future educational policies, the following questions have to be addressed: Can culture be regarded as a regulating principle (like for instance the Christian) which must (co-) determine the spirit and direction of education? Or is culture merely the necessary facilitator which provides for adequate and tension free education, regardless of the nature of the society in which education manifests itself? The current demand to promptly and irrevocably expunge a system of fragmented and therefore repressive and unjust educational control (which is undeniably founded on the cultural differences which exist in this country), by implication also relativizes the role culture has to play in the education of the child. A fundamental reconsideration of the relationship between education and culture, as well as of the question as to whether cultural development can still legitimately be incorporated as a part of education which is no longer to be tom asunder solely on account of political strategies, is therefore essential at this stage. It should be ascertained what the impact of culture is on education in general, and whether and to what extent a concept like cultural maturity can function as an acceptable and legitimate educational objective for a non-repressive, non-racial but multi-cultural South African society.
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