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  • Author or Editor: Amasa P. Ndofirepi x
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Abstract

The discourse of decolonisation, though littered with unresolved contestation, has continued since the era of colonisation by erstwhile colonisers from the North until years after political independence in Africa. While the university as an institution of higher learning has often been loaded with the burden of delivering an emancipatory knowledge fund for the deserved social, economic and political liberation citizenry of the African continent, the impact of neoliberal globalisation philosophy has offered these institutions the capacity to unyoke the knowledges they research and disseminate. This chapter becomes a harbinger to the discourses contained in this book of how knowledges can be decolonised from the overload of colonial impositions of western-centric canons of epistemic injustices pervading the African university years after colonisation.

In: Unyoking African University Knowledge

Abstract

The rhetoric on the decolonisation of the curriculum has been ongoing for a long time now. Scholars from the Global South as well as progressives from the North have proffered debates on how best knowledge can be accorded free and equitable space in the liberated African university. A surveyed varied array of understandings of the discourses have been debated in this volume of the book. This chapter takes a more settled overview of the debates by summarising the core highlights of all the contributions as it attempts to answer the question: Is the decolonial mantra the answer to the hermeneutical discourses of knowledge research and distribution in the African university?

In: Unyoking African University Knowledge
Chapter 7 Epistemic Insolence in the African University
In: Inclusion as Social Justice
Historically, African higher education teaching and learning have relied on Western models, paradigms, assumptions, concepts and procedures, among other research related aspects. Western hegemony and ideology has influenced and continues to influence the epistemologies and both the methods and outcome of higher education research. The connection between teaching and learning is that teaching generates new forms of learning and learning challenges methods of teaching. Western claims to universality, objectivity and neutrality have dominated research paradigms in African higher education institutions to the detriment of alternative approaches and conceptions of knowledge. Methods aligned to African teaching and learning are often unrecognised and thus underutilised despite calls for the mantra for decolonial research methods. What are the African indigenous ways of teaching and learning? How are they related to the present African university? These puzzling questions provoke the minds of scholars on Africa to confront the discourse on decolonisation of higher education as they engage head-on and interrogate contemporary teaching and learning methods. Mediating Learning in Higher Education in Africa: From Critical Thinking to Social Justice Pedagogies provides critical reflections to some of the above questions that affect African Higher Education as it seeks to transform itself and provide directions for the future.
Inclusion as Social Justice: Theory and Practice in African Higher Education discusses the extent to which education enables equitable social access for diverse student populations in the context of historical sidelining of indigenous knowledge systems and epistemic injustice of colonial epistemologies in Africa. The goal is to theoretically unpack the social differentials and micro-inequities that practically disempower diverse students in African higher education. To this end, the book features aspects of diversity such as gender, rurality, refugee status and disability in general, with hearing and visual impairment as prime illustrations. It is argued that despite the ethically defensible and socially just policy and structural interventions for transforming higher education meant to redress the legacy of colonial injustices, urban universities present epistemological equity challenges for students from rural communities. Similarly, the opaque fate of students displaced from their home countries and currently studying in universities in host countries is analyzed. The book illustrates the access case for gender and disability in higher education using empirical studies and examples from Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Challenges facing students in higher education in these countries and the strategies the students devise to succeed in the institutions are analyzed.
How can African philosophy of education contribute to contemporary debates in the context of complexities, dilemmas and uncertainties in African higher education? The capacity for self-reflection, self-evaluation and self-criticism enables African philosophy of higher education to examine and re-examine itself in the context of current issues in African higher education. The reflective capacity is in line with the Socratic dictum ‘know thy self.’ African Higher Education in the 21st Century: Epistemological, Ontological and Ethical Perspectives responds to the demands for reflection and self-knowledge by drawing from ontology, epistemology and ethics in an attempt to address issues that affect African higher education as they connect with the past, present and future.
Part 1 Setting the Scene for Social Justice in African Higher Education
In: Inclusion as Social Justice
Introduction to Part 1
In: Inclusion as Social Justice
Chapter 1 Deciphering the Conversations
In: Inclusion as Social Justice
Part 2 Access and Epistemic Complexities in African Higher Education
In: Inclusion as Social Justice