What is decolonised education?

2016-09-25 13:05
The University of Cape Town's upper campus. (iStock)

The University of Cape Town's upper campus. (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


WATCH: Hundreds join mass meeting over fees at UCT

2016-09-19 17:27

Hundreds of students met at Jamieson (or, Marikana) Hall on Monday afternoon.WATCH

Cape Town - The students marching against fee increases on campuses countrywide say their campaign is also a call for decolonised, Afrocentric education.

During one of the marches this week, News24 asked UCT student Athabile Nonxuba to explain what students mean by decolonised education, and why they want it.

This is what he told us:

- The current curriculum dehumanises black students.

“We study all these dead white men who presided over our oppression, and we are made to use their thinking as a standard and as a point of departure.”

- Our own thinking as Africans has been undermined. We must have our own education from our own continent;

- We cannot be decolonised by white people who colonised us;

- Decolonisation advances the interests of Africans, instead of advancing Eurocentric interests.

''Eurocentrism does not serve our interests culturally, socially, economically. It does not resolve the issues of Africa.''

- Education is not neutral, it serves particular interests.

- Students are forced to accept certain standard works to study in certain fields - even the work of Karl Marx. Although considered worthy, the German philosopher’s work is offered repeatedly as a standard, instead of introducing new ideas by Africans;

- White lecturers teach students African music and the base of music studies is classical European music.

- The curriculum does not accommodate creativity and expression in African languages. For example, drama students feel they are marked lower if they produce work in an African language;

- Decolonised education is not the same as transformed education;

- For decolonised education to be introduced, the existing system must be overthrown and the people it is supposed to serve must define it for themselves.

''We want to review that system and that curriculum, and that can't happen without a decolonised institution.''

For further reading on the topic he suggests these writers for starters:

- Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Decolonising the Mind, Frantz Fanon, Phumla Gqola, Kopano Ratele, and Angela Davis.

Read more on:    uct  |  cape town  |  education  |  university protests

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.