The finals of the Nkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Competition were held on the 7-8 October in Pretoria. This, the fifth annual competition, was a great success.
After two days of intensive presentations by 40 students and 13 teachers from eight provinces, a team of nine adjudicators(historians and heritage practitioners) assessed the portfolios and choose three student and three educator winners.
The Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty, stressed that the oral history competition was crucial to the Department’s aim to increase the number of young people taking history as a subject in schools. He stated that the students developed skills through taking part in the competition. In addition to research methodology students learn about the sacrifices made by people in their local communities.
The adjudicators were impressed by the efforts of the young historians, and inspired by the originality and rigor of their investigations. The portfolios presented covered a wide range of topics including; histories of refugee communities, life histories, religious phenomena and local heroes and community activists who played important roles in the struggle for freedom, building schools, and establishing museums or heritage projects to individual.
Mr Badsha, an adjudicator said; “We (the adjudicators) were very impressed with the quality of the presentations and research. In many cases the projects were at comparable to work done by university students. The students’ research topics have unearthed new and important histories that will add to our broader understanding of history”.
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