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Educational Resources

Education provides a powerful mechanism for instilling social values that reflect a deep, ingrained understanding of human rights. The gap created by Bantu Education not only affected the way South Africans learnt to read and write, but also the ways in which they learned how to relate to one another.

The challenge currently faced by South African educators reflects this legacy, and the list below provides educators easy access to existing educational resources related to the various tenets of South Africa's Bill of Rights.

Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)

Perspectives on Violence (video with booklet)

The 90 minute video explores the youth's perceptions of different types of violence in South Africa. It is accompanied by a booklet which provides an analysis of violence in South Africa today.


Much of the material used in I.D.@za comes from the CSVR Race and Citizenship in Transition Project. There are four parts to the series.

  • Youth and conflict 
  • Youth and reconciliation
  • Youth and citizenship
  • Youth and identity

Child-headed households and human rights: a capacity building guide

The booklet aims to strengthen the protection and care of vulnerable children through human rights education relating to social justice issues, develop an understanding and respect for children's rights and responsibilities as citizens. The focus on human rights education promotes the effective realisation of children's rights.

Our journey with HIV/AIDS

This booklet aims to discuss some of the challenges of HIV & AIDS that teenagers face, including the right to access health care. The booklet contains information that is often followed by suggestions on how to deal with relevant issues.


Department of Arts and Culture


The National Identity Passport

In recognition of the important role of cultural symbolism in the "redefinition of a nation," the National Identity Passport, a pocket-sized booklet modeled after the South African identification booklet, was developed by the Ministry of Arts and Culture. The booklet inverts racialized ideas about identity booklets, which were instilled through the notorious apartheid-era pass book system. National identity is thus reconceived within an inclusive rights-based paradigm.


Department of Basic Education

Bill of Responsibilities

The Bill of Responsibilities serves as the corollary to the Bill of Rights in South Africa's Constitution, and aims to instil a culture of civic duty and collective societal responsibility within school communities.

Building a culture of responsibility and humanity in our schools: a guide for teachers

This product, comprised of a book, as well as a CD (containing a digital copy of the Bill of Responsibilities poster, CD cover and inlay, and PDF of book) provides a guide for educators on how to tackle issues related to citizenship, with the goal of strengthening a culture of human rights and responsibilities in South African schools.

Speak out: youth report sexual abuse

This serves as a useful handbook for learners on how to prevent sexual abuse in schools and at home. Protection against such gendered violence is enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and this work helps clarify these rights by defining both sexual harassment and violence so that youth are able to identify it in their lives. It also provides steps for learners to counter any potential abuse. Produced by the DBE in conjunction with Dr P Watson

Educating for our common future: building schools for an integrated society: a guidebook for principals and teachers

Published in 2001, this publication is the first in a series aimed at assisting schools to deal with issues related to social integration, with a focus on racial integration in schools within a non-racial society.

5) Implementation guidelines: safe and caring child-friendly schools in South Africa: 2008

This 2008 publication provides guidelines for implementing practical methods for schools to promote the rights and responsibilities of children as enshrined in the Constitution and also in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Produced by the DBE in conjunction with UNICEF.


6) My Country South Africa: Celebrating our National Symbols and Heritage

The book has been developed as a means by which to stimulate interest in the meaning and value of citizenship, and, in addition, the value of heritage in human rights education. Produced as a joint publication between the DBE and the Department of Arts and Culture.


7) Nkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Competition Project

The competition gives learners the opportunity to conduct oral history projects, chosen from a host of topics. They are required to interview relevant individuals, conduct background research and present portfolios at a competitive inter-school level.


Education Resource Centre


1) Religion and Schools

The Education Rights Project developed a series of booklets focusing on the rights of learners. This booklet provides linkages between religious education, human rights and school communities. It is available in isiZulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, English, French and Portuguese.


2) HIV/AIDS and learners

This resource provides learners with relevant information for them to deal with in regard to their health rights, particularly related to HIV/AIDS. Available in isiZulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, English, French and Portuguese.


3) Sexual Violence

This resource deals with the rights of learners in relation to school-based sexual violence. It is premised on the notion that school communities need to face the reality that learners are brutalised at schools, even by those who are meant to ensure their safety. It is available in iZulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, English, French and Portuguese.


4) Corporal punishment and bullying: the rights of learners

This resource provides learners with information about their rights in relation to corporal punishment from educators as disciplinarians, and other learners who bully them. It is available in isiZulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, English, French and Portuguese.


5) The education rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in South Africa

This resource informs those whose rights are marginalised on the basis of their nationality in relation to their education rights. It is available in isiZulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, English, French and Portuguese.


6) Language rights and schools

This resource informs learners about their rights in relation to language in classrooms, in particular their right to learn in their home language. It is available in isiZulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, English, French and Portuguese.


7) School governing bodies: rights and responsibilities

This resource is designed for SGBs, providing insight into the rights and related responsibilities that are required of these bodies. It is available in isiZulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, English, French and Portuguese.


8) Admission policy: your rights

This resource provides information about admission to those who are otherwise excluded from the education system, mainly for financial reasons. It is available in isiZulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, English, French and Portuguese.




1) Stories that talk: assembly readings for primary school learners

This book, aimed at primary school learners, includes forty values-based short stories for use in assemblies, life orientation classes and to enrich faith-based and other group activities with children.


2) For good

This resource manual forms part of a broader campaign 'for people who want to make their part of South Africa a better place.' The vision of this 'social movement' is 'to inspire, guide and connect people to take action to make our society safer, healthier, happier, more informed, more compassionate and caring. The network will provide customised information to help individuals to make a difference in their own lives and in their local areas.'


3) Heartlines for youth: putting values into action - a step-by-step guidebook / social movement

This resource provides learners with guidelines on how to mobilise their peers and communities in creating action groups that can improve their communities.


Human Rights Resource Centre


1) If trees could speak: the Trojan Horse Story

The Trojan Horse Project was initiated in 1995 to commemorate the victims of the Trojan Horse operation. A set of six posters were developed to overcome language and literacy barriers. The resource is intended for communities, particularly the youth, so that they may better understand the experiences of suffering and oppression experienced, with the aim of imbuing a better appreciation for human rights, heritage, history and nation building.


2) Labour Pains for the Nation: Eight women workers tell their stories

This narrative includes the stories of eight women workers who share their experiences of the daily challenges of working, child-rearing and their contribution to the struggle as members of trade unions, community organisations and political parties.


3) Out of Darkness Project

This resource, currently in production, consists of four books and a community drama project. It was a joint HRMC and Western Cape Blind Association (WEBA) initiative to document and disseminate the life histories of blind South Africans. The first includes five life stories of men and women with the Condition of Albinism. This will also involve a short community drama to expose the prevailing myths and to counter stigmas associated with the Condition of Albinism.


4) Torn Apart: thirteen refugees tell their stories.

Forming part of the Survival Stories Project, this project includes a book, radio documentary for community radio, and documentary film. This project has documented the lives of refugees from war-torn African countries currently living in Cape Town. The stories are told by refugees from five African countries ravaged by war: Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Chad. The project also involved the production of 'In our shoes', a 40 minute documentary film set in Cape Town which focuses on the discrimination refugees and asylum seekers in Cape Town experience in their everyday lives. Each of the stories raises certain issues (for example young refugees' identity; violence and xenophobia) which can then be further discussed in facilitated sessions. The last chapter is intended as a prompt to think about practical steps that the audience can take to counter xenophobia in their own lives and communities.

5) We never give up

This 2002 documentary was produced by the Western Cape Khulumani Support Group, reflecting the experiences of members who are survivors of violence under apartheid. The stories represent the harsh experiences of thousands of ordinary South Africans who participated in or who were excluded from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)


1) Aunty Ivy's son, Ashley (CD)

This radio documentary captures the life of political activist, Ashley Kriel prior to his untimely death at the hands of apartheid policeman Jeffrey Benzien. It contains oral history interviews with his sister and friends about their recollection of Ashley, as a brother and son.


2) Community healing: a resource guide

This publication is the outcome of a three-year process initiated by Nyameka Goniwe, a Cradock community leader and project manager with the Institute in 2001. Through this project, the IJR has developed broad guidelines for community leaders trained in healing methodology and educational resources for community healing, and is based on the experiences of the people of Cradock who worked towards healing by dealing with the impact of apartheid in their community. This resource guide provides hands-on examples, ideas and guidelines for people who would like to make a difference in their communities.


3) Connecting with Others: Teacher's Guide

This publication provides guidelines and teaching modules to accompany the Department of Education video production, Connecting with Others. It aims to promote understanding and focuses on the Life Orientation and Language Learning Areas offering useful preparation for the CTA examinations in those areas. It also provides assessment activities orientated to the Revised National Curriculum Statement.


4) Discovering Others

The aim of Discovering Others is to make a positive contribution to the establishment of interpersonal relationships among South Africans based on respect for one another and an acknowledgement of our interdependence as fellow citizens. It has been designed for the Senior Phase, for the purpose of engaging learners in a process of personal growth and social skills development.


5) Interfaith Solidarity: A guide for Religious Communities

Christians, Muslims and Jews claim a common father in Abraham. However in practice, what is most often apparent are their differences. This guide explores strategies for a common future, drawing on memories of interfaith solidarity in the struggle against apartheid. The book is a tribute to the work that has already been done in laying the groundwork for solidarity between faiths in the Western Cape.


6) Making Apartheid History: My Contribution: An oral history resource guide

Since 2004 the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation has developed a distinctive methodology to encourage and enable post-apartheid youth to generate oral history in their communities. A series of teachers' guides on each of these case studies was produced. These educational resources are now drawn together into this single volume, with each guide forming a chapter.


7) Nyameka's Story: A Video - Learners Guide for Learners + Guide for Teachers

In 1985, the police killed four Cradock community activists. These men, known as the Cradock Four, became a national symbol of resistance and heroes in the struggle against apartheid. The video, Nyameka's Story, was made in order to tell the story of one family's experiences during the years of apartheid and resistance within the context of a community's struggle. A Learner's Guide which accompanies the video provides a background to the important issues raised in the video. Tasks and questions that can be done at some point during the screening of the video and afterwards, can be found in the learners guide. The activities are suitable for group, paired and individual work and include suggestions for research projects that can be done as either oral presentations or written tasks for portfolio assessments.


8) The Turning Points in History (CD-ROM)

This resource showcases twelve teaching modules, including teacher's notes, worksheets and resource sheets for learners, as well as assessment guidelines. In addition to the teaching modules, the CD-ROM provides interactive features such as overviews of the book series, a searchable glossary and a database of national heritage sites.


9) Community healing: a guide for facilitators

A guide book to accompany the resource guide listed above, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission brought home to most South Africans the extent to which apartheid left many communities traumatized and dysfunctional. This book is the result of a series of initiatives by the IJR to begin to address issues of collective trauma and healing in communities, such as, Cradock, Langa, Bonteheuwel and Pinelands. It offers coherent strategies and manageable, practical ways of helping communities to face, deal with and move on from the trauma of the past in ways that are both enabling and reconciliatory.


10) Truth, Justice and Memory - DVD + teacher's guide

The TRC provided an opportunity for ordinary South Africans to take the centre stage, to share their stories of suffering and sacrifice. How can we, years later, use this legacy in the building of a generation of reconciling South Africans? This "first-of-its-kind" course aims to expose learners to the TRC event in a sensitive but forthright manner. Twelve DVD clips, each about 20 minutes in length, cover a series of important aspects of the TRC's work. The accompanying teacher's guide contains twelve corresponding chapters, complete with content summary, key questions, tasks for learners and teachers as well as additional sources.


11) Turning Points in Human Rights 6 books + teacher's guide

(2 guidebooks - one for grades 10-12 (16-18 years) and one aiming at grades 7-9 (14-16 years) This series of books is designed to promote ethics and values not only in History and Life Skills, but across the national curriculum as a whole. It portrays human rights as the outcome of a South African process and aims to introduce young people to this history in a participatory way.




1) Developing Programmes for Children with Sexual Behaviour Problems and Sexual Offender Behaviour Programme

This document provides school communities with an example of how to develop practical programming to facilitate the needs of children with sexual behaviour problems and sexual offender behaviour.


2) Fact Sheet - Child abuse and disclosure Fact sheet / information document

This is a fact sheet for educators, parents and other child-carers on dealing with child abuse and enabling learners to feel safe enough to disclose the abuse.

South African History Archive (SAHA)

1) Great People, Great Places of South Africa

Developed as part of the Sunday Times Heritage Project, this series contains six books that explore the history and heritage of South Africa. The first five books in the series contain stories of people and events from different historical periods. Some of the great people examined are Olive Schreiner, Mohandas Gandhi, Brenda Fassie and Nelson Mandela. The sixth book is a practical guide for both learners and teachers on how to conduct an oral history project.


2) Voices from our Past (CD)

Inspired by a series of street memorials built across South Africa as part of the Sunday Times Heritage Project, Voices from our Past is a series of radio documentaries bringing together personal testimonies and historical audio clips from the archive that focus on key figures and moments in the struggle for democracy in South Africa. Copies of the CD have been distributed to schools and other educational organizations in 2008 and 2009. A Guide for Educators (1.33MB) has also been developed to help educators to use these documentaries in the classroom to support history education in secondary schools.


3) Forgotten Voices in the Present (book and DVD)

This book aims to give agency to those usually caught on the margins of South African society. It is made up of carefully selected excerpts of in depth interviews with residents of Maandagshoek, Rammolutsi and Sebokeng. These illustrate, in the words of the respective residents, that South Africa - having overcome formal apartheid - still has a lot of work to do if structural inequality is to be overcome. The book is accompanied with a DVD documentary revealing valuable footage of the project compiled by Veriava, what makes the project even more unique and accessible. The product includes full interview transcripts in digital format for use by anyone interested in purveying a different perspective of South Africa's near past. The text not only demonstrates the value of oral history in South Africa, but it provides learners with a glimpse of the disparate backgrounds of their fellow citizens. Produced in conjunction with Dale McKinley, Ahmed Veriava, Sephis, and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

4) Meeting history face-to-face (booklet and DVD)

This series of booklets was developed for Grade 12 learners and teachers to support the practical implementation of a source-based study of South African history from 1976 - 1994. Many teachers are inadequately trained in using sources to study history in the classroom and there is only a limited range of sources relating to this period in South Africa's history in most current textbooks. The SAHA in the Classroom booklets are intended to fill this gap by presenting learners with a broad range of primary sources from SAHA collections and encouraging the critical analysis of key aspects of this period of history. Each source booklet focuses on a different phase or topic from this period and provides background information, reproductions of primary sources and accompanying questions following the format prescribed by the Department of Education, thus preparing learners for the source-based National History Examination. Produced by SAHA in conjunction with the Sunday Times Heritage Project (STHP)


5) Between life and death: stories from John Vorster Square

Between Life and Death: stories from John Vorster Square is an interactive DVD product produced by SAHA to enable users to engage with the notorious police station, the centre of the security force of the apartheid regime. The product involves a virtual walk through the police cells, featurng interviews with former detainees and security police, as well as photographs, press clippings, drawing and other archival materials. The product serves as an important historical resource for schools to educate learners about the significance of a rights-based culture in South Africa, and to remind them of the sacrifices made in the name of human rights in South Africa. Produced in conjunction with DOXA.


6) Katorus Stories

Focusing on the outcomes of an art and memory workshop held by the Khulumani Support Group in Katorus in 2007, Katorus Stories explores the nexus of memory and heritage in South Africa, particularly in line with overcoming trauma related to victimhood under apartheid. This provides learners with a unique perspective of previously "unwritten and unrecorded" events, allowing them to engage with the darker aspects of South African heritage, and how people have coped with this. Tackling the unresolved issues of the past also provides a window of opportunity for learners to engage with aspects of their personal lives that may seem otherwise impenetrable. Produced in conjunction with the Khulumani Support Group.



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