1. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) invites all schools to participate in the 2017 National Schools’ Oral History Competition for the Nkosi Albert Luthuli Young Historians’ Awards.

2. This competition was introduced in 2005 and forms part of the DBE’s contribution to strengthen the teaching and learning of History in schools.

3. It is also part of the DBE’s ongoing initiative to encourage all learners to develop an understanding, not only of the broad history of South Africa, but also of the richness of the histories of their local communities. It is an opportunity for young learners to gain experience in developing important research skills.

4. The competition is open to learners and Social Sciences/History teachers from Grades 8 to 11.

5. Competition for learners

Learners will be required to research and prepare an oral presentation on one of the following topics:

5.1 Oliver Tambo was a true servant of the people and was committed to ensuring that South Africa would become a nation that is non-racial, united, non-sexist and prosperous.

Learners are expected to interview a former activist and highlight their observations on whether the efforts of the activist(s) had an impact in the community they live in.

In dealing with the topic the focus should be on the life story of a former activist(s) in their community who emulated the values of OR Tambo in addressing issues of gender equality, non-racialism, socio-economic equality as well as the enhancement of education in their community.

5.2 On 23 March 1987, Johannesburg railway workers downed tools in support of a colleague that was retrenched. The South African Railway and Harbour Workers Union (SARHWU) embarked on a strike joined by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), OK Bazaars, postal workers and autoworkers.

Learners are expected to interview former workers who participated in the 1987 South African Railway and Harbour Workers Union (SARHWU) strike and find out from them how the strike impacted working conditions in South Africa then and now.

5.3 Chief Albert Luthuli once said, “We have a vision of South Africa in which black and white shall live and work together and where there shall be neither whites nor blacks, just South Africans, free and united in diversity”. As South Africa commemorates the passing of Chief Albert Luthuli 50 years ago, South Africans are called to emulate the spirit of Chief Albert Luthuli by rising and standing in unity against the dangers of racism and division.

Learners are expected to interview an individual in their community who was a local hero or heroine during the apartheid era and find out how the ideals of Chief Albert Luthuli impacted their lives and that of all South Africans.

In dealing with the topic the focus should be on the socio-political biography of a local hero or heroine in their community who lived by the ideals of Chief Albert Luthuli and how these ideals impacted their lives and that of all South Africans.

5.4 Freedom, democracy and history of their school — how their school experienced apartheid and the changes since the advent of democracy in 1994.

The learner is expected to interview members of their community who were part of their school during the apartheid era. They could also interview former learners and/or teachers of the school to establish how the school has transformed since the advent of democracy in 1994.

In dealing with this topic the focus should be on the transformation of the school.

5.5 The Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa is synonymous with its fighter, Steve Bantu Biko, who still remains an icon of the struggle against apartheid. Steve Biko instilled courage, particularly amongst the youth, to fight against an unjust system under the banner of “Black Consciousness”. Learners must interview and write about the life story of a leader who was part of the Black Consciousness Movement in the 1970s. In dealing with the topic the focus should be on the life story of a Black Consciousness leader and how the views of the Black Consciousness Movement guided the development and the implementation of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which came into effect in 1996.

6. Please note the following:

  • The project must be based on oral history research.
  • Learners and teachers are advised to visit the South African History Online website at www.sahistory.org.za for information on oral history research and the South African History Archives website at www.saha.org.za.
  • Learners should be assisted in their choice of persons to be interviewed and should be strongly guided to choose persons from their local community.
  • Learners should be advised to interview at least three to four people.
  • Learners must submit a portfolio that documents all their research.
7. Requirements for learners
7.1 Give an oral presentation - it is not intended to be a dramatic presentation or poetry.
7.2 Prepare a portfolio in written form, which must include the following:

  • Evidence of research - learners should interview members of the community and should be able to show evidence of their interviews, for example:
    • letters to interviewees;
    • transcripts of interviews or tape recordings; and
    • a list of questions posed to the persons that they interviewed and their responses - either in written form or on a digital tape recording.
7.3 All written work and presentations must be in English.
7.4 Portfolios must also show evidence of reflection and in doing this learners should:

  • make it clear why they chose the persons they have interviewed;
  • show a clear understanding of the historical context in which the individual worked;
  • state how the information from the interview relates to the historical context or how it helps us to understand events from a personal perspective;
  • include a personal reflection on what they have learnt about the possibilities for individuals to bring about change in society;
  • share what they have learnt personally from carrying out the oral history research;
  • share the value of oral history research in helping us to understand our history;
  • acknowledge all sources used in their portfolios;
  • include a bibliography; and
  • remember that plagiarism will be heavily penalised.
8. Requirements for teachers
8.1 Teachers from secondary schools entering the competition will be required to develop a work plan on how they have planned and set up the oral history project in the classroom.
8.2 Each teacher will be required to present his or her research to a panel of adjudicators and be prepared for a panel discussion.
8.3 Teachers should include the following in a portfolio for the competition:

  • How the oral history project was introduced to learners in the classroom.
  • What explanation was given to learners about choosing and approaching possible interviewees.
  • How to prepare for and conduct interviews and use the interview as evidence to reach conclusions about the contribution of that individual.
  • What interventions the teacher made in assisting learners to complete the project.
  • What the teacher felt the learners gained from doing an oral history research project.
  • A range of examples of learners' work should be included.
9. Process for the Young Historians' Competition
9.1 Teachers need to identify and prepare learners for the elimination rounds within the districts, ensure that all learners who have entered are present, have the necessary transport to and from the event and ensure that they are ready for the district event.
9.2 Learners need to:

  • complete their research, questionnaires, interviews and transcriptions well in advance;
  • ensure that they have compiled their portfolios of evidence;
  • complete their presentations;
  • be able to answer any questions regarding their projects and research; and
  • be able to reflect and share their personal experiences.
9.3 Schools are expected to submit their registrations to the relevant subject advisers for Social Sciences and History.
9.4 Subject advisers are expected to quality assure the written portfolios and presentations and coordinate district elimination rounds. The districts will select five learners that will represent them at the provincial competition.
9.5 Additional preparatory workshops for teachers and learners will be arranged by subject advisers within the districts. The times and venues for all workshops will be confirmed via Social Sciences and History subject advisers.
9.6 The provincial adjudication process will take place on 19 August 2017.
9.7 Adjudication grids for teachers and learners (Annexures A), a consent form for interviewees (Annexure B) and an appraisal form for interviewees (Annexure C) have also been included.
9.8 The DBE will be responsible for travel and accommodation costs for participating learners and teachers during the national competition in Pretoria from 29 September to 02 October 2017.
9.9 Please find attached a schedule of the competition dates in Annexure D.

10. Registration forms (Annexure E) must be submitted by 20 April 2017 to the relevant district Social Sciences/History subject adviser listed below:

District Subject Adviser Tel. no. Email Fax. no.
Metro Central Dennis Cloete 021 514 6977 Daniel.Cloetel@westerncape.gov.za 086 236 1892
Metro East Silumko Mgoqi 021 900 7150 Silumko.Mgoqi@westerncape.gov.za 086 664 2631
Metro North Suezette Engel 021 938 3014 Suezette.Engel@westerncape.gov.za 021 938 3183
Metro South Rudolph Hugo 021 370 2060 Rudolph.Hugo@westerncape.gov.za 021 372 1856
West Coast Alex van Stade 021 860 1233 Alexande.VanStade@westerncape.gov.za 086 562 3907
Cape Winelands Joseph Matsau 023 348 4623 Joseph.Matsau@westerncape.gov.za 086 555 0261
Eden and Central Karoo Nomava Mapisa 044 803 8347 Nomava.Mapisa@westerncape.gov.za 086 673 8499
Overberg Jurina Auret 028 214 7338 Jurina.Auret@westerncape.gov.za 028 214 7400

11. Principals are kindly requested to bring the contents of this minute to the notice of the school management team and the teachers concerned.

DATE: 2017:03:28

Annexure A, B & C  (size: 149 KB)
Annexure D: Project timeline  (size: 54 KB)
Annexure E: Registration form  (size: 65 KB)