South Africa is a country with a history of racism and racial subjugation - a country where black people endured approximately fifty years of domination by a white regime that skillfully manipulated every facet of their lives through an apartheid system. Mid and late twentieth century South African history is associated with apartheid which means "separate" and represents oppression, authoritarianism, inequality and human indignity. It is not possible to write a paper about the transition in South Africa without referring to apartheid- a derogatory, evil system (Tutu, 1987) where black and white populations where kept separated. The Nationalist Party - a white Afrikaner minority group who came into power by only white vote in 1948, enshrined legislation aimed at securing the white population as "pure" by keeping the whites and blacks separated (Gibson , 2004). It was political pressure by students and anti-apartheid activists that resulted in the removal of the apartheid regime. In 1994, it was a proud moment for many South Africans when they were allowed to vote in a democratic South Africa. Education has played a key role in South African politics since 1953. In order to understand the transition it is necessary to go back five decades to review the past in order to understand the present and the future. This chapter is divided into five sections, namely: 1) The Apartheid era and the State of education; 2) Teacher education during Apartheid; 3) Curriculum reform; 4) Teacher Education post 1994 and 5) A case study: Curriculum reform in the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa.

In: Education Reform in Societies in Transition