Thought Piece Yusef Waghid

Yusef Waghid – Distinguished Professor and Acting Dean, Stellenbosch University

Nowadays, certainly at the institutions where we work, the concept of curriculum renewal has emerged as a potential panacea for the decontextual dilemma that confronts universities. By the decontextual dilemma I refer to curricula at universities that are unresponsive to societal contexts and disconnected from the life experiences of those whom such curricula envisage to educate. Of course situating curricula is important for what has become known as ‘the decolonised education’ agenda on the African continent. But such an agenda would mean very little, if the equal intelligence of students and teachers cannot be evoked. When students and university teachers articulate their intellectual equality they would have been summoned to speak and reimagine curricula openly and reflectively. Similarly, when curricula are not geared towards actuating lasting change on account of the predicament of colonisation and racial exclusion on the African continent, then any attempt to decolonise education might just prove to be futile. As aptly reminded by Jane Roland-Martin (2013), education that does not invoke the potentialities of people’s cultural and societal experiences together with their knowledges and skills such an education ought to be reconfigured as it fails to address the human condition within such communities.