Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Search results for: decolonisation

10 Curriculum Transformation: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on ‘Decolonisation’ and ‘Africanisation’ of the Curriculum in South Africa’s Higher Education

Authors: Andre Bechuke


The years of 2015-2017 witnessed a huge campaign, and in some instances, violent protests in South Africa by students and some groups of academics advocating the decolonisation of the curriculum of universities. These protests have forced through high expectations for universities to teach a curriculum relevant to the country, and the continent as well as enabled South Africa to participate in the globalised world. To realise this purpose, most universities are currently undertaking steps to transform and decolonise their curriculum. However, the transformation process is challenged and delayed by lack of a collective understanding of the concepts ‘decolonisation’ and ‘africanisation’ that should guide its application. Even more challenging is lack of a contextual understanding of these concepts across different university disciplines. Against this background, and underpinned in a qualitative research paradigm, the perspectives of these concepts as applied by different university disciplines were examined in order to understand and establish their implementation in the curriculum transformation agenda. Data were collected by reviewing the teaching and learning plans of 8 faculties of an institution of higher learning in South Africa and analysed through content and textual analysis. The findings revealed varied understanding and use of these concepts in the transformation of the curriculum across faculties. Decolonisation, according to the faculties of Law and Humanities, is perceived as the eradication of the Eurocentric positioning in curriculum content and the constitutive rules and norms that control thinking. This is not done by ignoring other knowledge traditions but does call for an affirmation and validation of African views of the world and systems of thought, mixing it with current knowledge. For the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, decolonisation is seen as making the content of the curriculum relevant to students, fulfilling the needs of industry and equipping students for job opportunities. This means the use of teaching strategies and methods that are inclusive of students from diverse cultures, and to structure the learning experience in ways that are not alien to the cultures of the students. For the Health Sciences, decolonisation of the curriculum refers to the need for a shift in Western thinking towards being more sensitive to all cultural beliefs and thoughts. Collectively, decolonisation of education thus entails that a nation must become independent with regard to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Based on the findings, for universities to successfully transform their curriculum and integrate the concepts of decolonisation and Africanisation, there is a need to contextually determine the meaning of the concepts generally and narrow them down to what they should mean to specific disciplines. Universities should refrain from considering an umbrella approach to these concepts. Decolonisation should be seen as a means and not an end. A decolonised curriculum should equally be developed based on the finest knowledge skills, values, beliefs and habits around the world and not limited to one country or continent.

Keywords: Africanisation, curriculum, transformation, decolonisation, multidisciplinary perspectives, South Africa’s higher education

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9 The Russian-Ukrainian Conflict: An Imperial, Neoliberal Limbo

Authors: Anna Savchenko


The dissolution of the Soviet Union brought about a wave of decolonisation throughout the Soviet space in the 1990s. While this emancipation ushered in an era of reform in the newly independent states, it also opened up the opportunity for countries such as Ukraine to be (re)colonised by a different ruling power: the European Union. Ukraine’s relationship with the EU has been further complicated by the fact that the country’s political leadership has aligned itself with a Western agenda of democratisation. This article challenges the neoliberal belief that the global market can spurn democratisation by analysing the way in which market privatisation in Ukraine has allowed for mass corruption to flourish. I submit that neoliberalism, or the sheer force of the global market, is just as colonising as modern-day imperialism has proven to be by providing an analytical synthesis of Russia and Ukraine’s century-old conflict. The EU’s demonstrated inability to mediate cross-border conflict in the region foreshadows that Ukraine may have been economically colonised by another failing state.

Keywords: neoliberalism, imperealism, Russian-Ukrainian conflict, democratisation, colonisation

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8 Legal Pluralism and Ideology: The Recognition of the Indigenous Justice Administration in Bolivia through the "Indigenismo" and "Decolonisation" Discourses

Authors: Adriana Pereira Arteaga


In many Latin American countries the transition towards legal pluralism - has developed as part of what is called Latin-American-Constitutionalism over the last thirty years. The aim of this paper is to discuss how legal pluralism in its current form in Bolivia may produce exclusion and violence. Legal sources and discourse analysis - as an approach to examine written language on discourse documentation- will be used to develop this paper. With the constitution of 2009, Bolivia was symbolically "re-founded" into a multi-nation state. This shift goes hand in hand with the "indigenista" and "decolonisation" ideologies developing since the early 20th century. Discourses based on these ideologies reflect the rejection of liberal and western premises on which the Bolivian republic was originally built after independence. According to the "indigenista" movements, the liberal nation-state generates institutions corresponding to a homogenous society. These liberal institutions not only ignore the Bolivian multi-nation reality, but also maintain the social structures originating form the colony times, based on prejudices against the indigenous. The described statements were elaborated through the image: the indigenous people humiliated by a cruel western system as highlighted by the constitution's preamble. This narrative had a considerable impact on the sensitivity of people and received great social support. Therefore the proposal for changing structures of the nation-state, is charged with an emancipatory message of restoring even the pre-Columbian order. An order at times romantically described as the perfect order. Legally this connotes a rejection of the positivistic national legal system based on individual rights and the promotion of constitutional recognition of indigenous justice administration. The pluralistic Constitution is supposed to promote tolerance and a peaceful coexistence among nations, so that the unity and integrity of the country could be maintained. In its current form, legal pluralism in Bolivia is justified on pre-existing rights contained for example in the International - Labour - Organization - Convention 169, but it is more developed on the described discursive constructions. Over time these discursive constructions created inconsistencies in terms of putting indigenous justice administration into practice: First, because legal pluralism has been more developed on level of political discourse, so a real interaction between the national and the indigenous jurisdiction cannot be observed. There are no clear coordination and cooperation mechanisms. Second, since the recently reformed constitution is based on deep sensitive experiences, little is said about the general legal principles on which a pluralistic administration of justice in Bolivia should be based. Third, basic rights, liberties, and constitutional guarantees are also affected by the antagonized image of the national justice administration. As a result, fundamental rights could be violated on a large scale because many indigenous justice administration practices run counter to these constitutional rules. These problems are not merely Bolivian but may also be encountered in other regional countries with similar backgrounds, like Ecuador.

Keywords: discourse, indigenous justice, legal pluralism, multi-nation

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7 Living Heritage(s) And Decoloniality: A Situational Analysis of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site

Authors: Revai Boterere


The study explores the decolonial theory in the context of engaging with living heritages in the formally colonised through the case of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site. It followed a qualitative research paradigm in the form of a situational analysis, with both primary and secondary data sources examined to enable an analysis focusing on the decolonial discourse and practice at Great Zimbabwe. Unlike the dominant model (in terms of interpretation) used at Great Zimbabwe, that of Thomas Huffman, which views the site as ruins, new literature (Ashton Sinamai, 2017, 2020; Webber Ndoro, 1994, 2005; ShadreckChirikure 2008, etal 2016; Njabulo Chipanguraetal 2019) on zimbabwe culture, Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site is a living site, a shrine, and a cultural landscape. it argue that the new literature, perhaps decolonial, remain in the hands of academics and not synthesised down to the interpreters. This is a problem, and it needs to be addressed. There is need of a pragmatic thrust to decolonisation at the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site. Though there are efforts to involve local communities at Great Zimbabwe as a decolonial approach, there is need to reorder the current system of producing knowledge in place. This paper will unpack these debates of decoloniality between what Huffman’s propositions of the interpretation of Great Zimbabwe vis-a-vis the new decolonial school of thought by local researchers.

Keywords: cultural tourism, decoloniality, living heritage, local community

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6 Developing an Indigenous Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Master’s Program: A Three Universities Collaboration

Authors: Mishack Thiza Gumbo


The participatory action research study reported in this paper aims to explore indigenous mathematics, science, and technology to develop an indigenous Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Master’s Programme ultimately. The study is based on an ongoing collaborative project between the Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Departments of the University of South Africa, University of Botswana and Chinhoyi University of Technology. The study targets the Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Master’s students and indigenous knowledge holders in these three contexts as research participants. They will be interviewed; documents of existing Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Master’s Programmes will be analysed; mathematics, science and technology-related artefacts will also be collected and analysed. Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education are traditionally referred to as gateway subjects because the world economy revolves around them. Scores of scholars call for the indigenisation of research and methodologies so that research can suit and advance indigenous knowledge and sustainable development. There are ethnomathematics, ethnoscience and ethnotechnology which exist in indigenous contexts such as blacksmithing, woodcarving, textile-weaving and dyeing, but the current curricula and research in institutions of learning reflect the Western notions of these subjects. Indigenisation of the academic programmecontributes toward the decolonisation of education. Hence, the development of an indigenous Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Master’s Programme, which will be jointly offered by the three universities mentioned above, will contribute to the transformation of higher education in this sense.

Keywords: indigenous, mathematics, science, technology, master's program, universities, collaboration

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5 Genre Hybridity and Postcolonialism in 'Chairil: The Voice of Indonesia's Decolonisation'

Authors: Jack Johnstone


This research presents postcolonial translation as an approach to eradicate traces of colonialism in former colonies. An example of demonstrating postcolonial translation in the Indonesian context is in Hasan Aspahani's Chairil, a biographical narrative and history book based on the personal life of a well-known Indonesian poet and writer, Chairil Anwar (1922-1949) in Dutch occupied Indonesia. This postcolonial translation approach has been applied in the first five chapters on his early years under Dutch colonization, in an attempt to show a postcolonialised TT. This approach aims to demonstrate the postcolonial refutation of the Dutch colonial language to convey the Indonesian setting to target readers. It is also designed to explicate the summary of the book as well as my attempt to apply postcolonial translation as a strategy to reject the Dutch colonial terms in this book. The data conveys 26 important examples of the ST and TT, in consideration of the chosen three factors of culture, forced-Europeanisation, and cross-genre between a biographical narrative and history under categories of Cultural Bound Objects, Politics and Place. However, the 10 selected examples will be analyzed in the Analysis Chapter, which are discussed at word, sentence, and paragraph level. As well, the translation strategies used, namely retention, substitution and specification on four main examples, on the methods utilized to achieve a postcolonialised translation that attempts to 1) examine the way the alteration of the TT can affect the message portrayed within the ST, 2) show the notion of disagreement between the Dutch colonizers and colonized Indonesians on their views on the way Indonesia should be governed and 3) present a translation that reverses the inequality between the superior colonials and inferior Indigenous Indonesians during the Dutch colonial era.

Keywords: Chairil, Dutch colonialism, Indonesia, postcolonial translation

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4 Translanguaging as a Decolonial Move in South African Bilingual Classrooms

Authors: Malephole Philomena Sefotho


Nowadays, it is a fact that the majority of people, worldwide, are bilingual rather than monolingual due to the surge of globalisation and mobility. Consequently, bilingual education is a topical issue of discussion among researchers. Several studies that have focussed on it have highlighted the importance and need for incorporating learners’ linguistic repertoires in multilingual classrooms and move away from the colonial approach which is a monolingual bias – one language at a time. Researchers pointed out that a systematic approach that involves the concurrent use of languages and not a separation of languages must be implemented in bilingual classroom settings. Translanguaging emerged as a systematic approach that assists learners to make meaning of their world and it involves allowing learners to utilize all their linguistic resources in their classrooms. The South African language policy also room for diverse languages use in bi/multilingual classrooms. This study, therefore, sought to explore how teachers apply translanguaging in bilingual classrooms in incorporating learners’ linguistic repertoires. It further establishes teachers’ perspectives in the use of more than one language in teaching and learning. The participants for this study were language teachers who teach at bilingual primary schools in Johannesburg in South Africa. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to establish their perceptions on the concurrent use of languages. Qualitative research design was followed in analysing data. The findings showed that teachers were reluctant to allow translanguaging to take place in their classrooms even though they realise the importance thereof. Not allowing bilingual learners to use their linguistic repertoires has resulted in learners’ negative attitude towards their languages and contributed in learners’ loss of their identity. This article, thus recommends a drastic change to decolonised approaches in teaching and learning in multilingual settings and translanguaging as a decolonial move where learners are allowed to translanguage freely in their classroom settings for better comprehension and making meaning of concepts and/or related ideas. It further proposes continuous conversations be encouraged to bring eminent cultural and linguistic genocide to a halt.

Keywords: bilingualism, decolonisation, linguistic repertoires, translanguaging

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3 Decolonising Postgraduate Research Curricula and Its Impact on a Sustainable Protein Supply in Rural-Based Communities

Authors: Fabian Nde Fon


Decolonisation is one of the hottest topics in most African Universities; this is because many researchers focus on research that does not speak to their immediate community. This research looked at postgraduate research projects that can take students to the community to apply the knowledge that they have learned as an attempt to transform their community. In regards to this, an honours project was designed to try and provide a cheaper and continuous source of protein (egg) using amber-link layers and to investigate the potential of the project to promote postgraduate student development and entrepreneurship. Two ban layer production systems were created: (1) Production system one on a Hill (PS-I) and (2) Production system two in a valley, closer to a dam (PS-II) at Nqutshini, Gingindlovu, KwaZulu-Natal Province. Forty point-of-lay (18 weeks old) amber links were bought at Inverness Rearers and divided into PS-I (20), and PS-II (20), and each of the production systems was further divided into two groups of ten (PS-I-1 and PS-II-1 (partially supplemented) and PS-I-2 and PS-II-2 (supplemented with layer mash)) by a random selection. Birds' weights were balanced in each group to avoid bias. The two groups in each production system were caged separately (1.5x1.5m² for ten birds) and in close proximity. Partially supplemented birds received 0.6 kg of layer mash (60g/per bird/day) and kitchen leftovers daily, and supplemented birds were fed 1.2 kg of layer mash (120g/per bird/day). Egg collection was daily after feeding in the morning while was given ad libitium. The eggs were assessed for internal and external quality after weighing before recording. Egg production from fully supplemented birds (PS-I-2 and PS-II-2) was generally higher (P<0.05) than those of PS-I-1 and PS-II-1. The difference in production was only 6% in the valley while on the Hill, it was only 3%. However, some of the birds in the valley showed signs of respiratory infections, which was not observed with those on the Hill. There are no differences in the internal and external qualities of eggs (york colour and egg shell) determined. This implies that both systems were sustainable. It was suggested members in the community living at the valley or Hill can use these hardy layers as a cheaper source of protein and preferable to the partially supplemented systems because it is relatively cheaper. The smallholder farmers are still pursuing the project long after the students graduate; hence the benefit of the project is reciprocal for both the university and the community (entrepreneurship).

Keywords: animal nutrition, ban layer, production, postgraduate curricula, entrepreneurship

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2 RE:SOUNDING a 2000-Year-Old Vietnamese Dong Son Bronze Drum; Artist-Led Collaborations outside the Museum to Challenge the Impasse of Repatriating and Rematriating Cultural Instruments

Authors: H. A. J. Nguyen, V. A. Pham


RE:SOUNDING is an ongoing research project and artwork seeking to return the sound and knowledge of Dong Son bronze drums back to contemporary musicians. Colonial collections of ethnographic instruments are problematic in how they commit acts of conceptual, cultural, and acoustic silencing. The collection (or more honestly), the plagiarism, and pillaging of these instruments have systemically separated them from living and breathing cultures. This includes diasporic communities, who have come to resettle in close proximity - but still have little access - to the museums and galleries that display their cultural objects. Despite recent attempts to 'open up' and 'recognise' the tensions and violence of these ethnographic collections, many museums continue to structurally organize and reproduce knowledge with the same procedural distance and limitations of imperial condescension. Impatient with the slowness of these museums, our diaspora led collaborations participated in the opaque economy of the auction market to gain access and begin the process of digitally recording and archiving the actual sounds of the ancient Dong Son drum. This self-directed, self-initiated artwork not only acoustically reinvigorated an ancient instrument but redistributed these sonic materials back to contemporary musicians, composers, and their diasporic communities throughout Vietnam, South East Asia, and Australia. Our methodologies not only highlight the persistent inflexibility of museum infrastructures but demand that museums refrain from their paternalistic practice of risk-averse ownership, to seriously engage with new technologies and political formations that require all public institutions to be held accountable for the ethical and intellectual viability of their colonial collections. The integrated and practical resolve of diasporic artists and their communities are more than capable of working with new technologies to reclaim and reinvigorate what is culturally and spiritually theirs. The motivation to rematriate – as opposed to merely repatriate – the acoustic legacies of these instruments to contemporary musicians and artists is a new model for decolonial and restorative practices. Exposing the inadequacies of western scholarship that continues to treat these instruments as discreet, disembodied, and detached artifacts, these collaborative strategies have thus far produced a wealth of new knowledge – new to the west perhaps – but not that new to these, our own communities. This includes the little-acknowledged fact that the Dong Son drum were political instruments of war and technology, rather than their simplistic description in the museum and western academia as agrarian instruments of fertility and harvest. Through the collective and continued sharing of knowledge and sound materials produced from this research, these drums are gaining a contemporary relevance beyond the cultural silencing of the museum display cabinet. Acknowledgement: We acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung of the Kulin Nation and the Gadigal of the Eora Nation where we began this project. We pay our respects to the Peoples, Lands, Traditional Custodians, Practices, and Creator Ancestors of these Great Nations, as well as those First Nations peoples throughout Australia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, where this research continues, and upon whose stolen lands and waterways were never ceded.

Keywords: acoustic archaeology, decolonisation, museum collections, rematriation, repatriation, Dong Son, experimental music, digital recording

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1 Beyond Bindis, Bhajis, Bangles, and Bhangra: Exploring Multiculturalism in Southwest England Primary Schools, Early Research Findings

Authors: Suparna Bagchi


Education as a discipline will probably be shaped by the importance it places on a conceptual, curricular, and pedagogical need to shift the emphasis toward transformative classrooms working for positive change through cultural diversity. Awareness of cultural diversity and race equality has heightened following George Floyd’s killing in the USA in 2020. This increasing awareness is particularly relevant in areas of historically low ethnic diversity which have lately experienced a rise in ethnic minority populations and where inclusive growth is a challenge. This research study aims to explore the perspectives of practitioners, students, and parents towards multiculturalism in four South West England primary schools. A qualitative case study methodology has been adopted framed by sociocultural theory. Data were collected through virtually conducted semi-structured interviews with school practitioners and parents, observation of students’ classroom activities, and documentary analysis of classroom displays. Although one-third of the school population includes ethnically diverse children, BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) characters featured in children's books published in Britain in 2019 were almost invisible, let alone a BAME main character. The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) are vocal about extending the Curriculum beyond the academic and technical arenas for pupils’ broader development and creation of an understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity. However, race equality and community cohesion which could help in the students’ broader development are not Ofsted’s school inspection criteria. The absence of culturally diverse content in the school curriculum highlighted by the 1985 Swann Report and 2007 Ajegbo Report makes England’s National Curriculum look like a Brexit policy three decades before Brexit. A revised National Curriculum may be the starting point with the teachers as curriculum framers playing a significant part. The task design is crucial where teachers can place equal importance on the interwoven elements of “how”, “what” and “why” the task is taught. Teachers need to build confidence in encouraging difficult conversations around racism, fear, indifference, and ignorance breaking the stereotypical barriers, thus helping to create students’ conception of a multicultural Britain. Research showed that trainee teachers in predominantly White areas often exhibit confined perspectives while educating children. Irrespective of the geographical location, school teachers can be equipped with culturally responsive initial and continuous professional development necessary to impart multicultural education. This may aid in the reduction of employees’ unconscious bias. This becomes distinctly pertinent to avoid horrific cases in the future like the recent one in Hackney where a Black teenager was strip-searched during period wrongly suspected of cannabis possession. Early research findings show participants’ eagerness for more ethnic diversity content incorporated in teaching and learning. However, schools are considerably dependent on the knowledge-focused Primary National Curriculum in England. Moreover, they handle issues around the intersectionality of disability, poverty, and gender. Teachers were trained in times when foregrounding ethnicity matters was not happening. Therefore, preoccupied with Curriculum requirements, intersectionality issues, and teacher preparations, schools exhibit an incapacity due to which keeping momentum on ethnic diversity is somewhat endangered.

Keywords: case study, curriculum decolonisation, inclusive education, multiculturalism, qualitative research in Covid19 times

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