Reclaiming Our Indigenous Voices: The Problem with Postcolonial Sub-Saharan African School Curriculum


  • Edward Shizha


colonial education, indigenous knowledges, school curriculum, Sub-Saharan Africa, voices


The school curriculum in postcolonial Sub-Saharan Africa experiences challenges that are a legacy of colonial education that remained in place decades after political decolonization. The case for African school curriculum is contentious in contemporary Africa because it negates the voices of African indigenous populations. Despite the advent of decolonization that started in the 1960s, African education systems mirror colonial education paradigms inherited from former colonial govern- ments. Colonial education was hegemonic and disruptive to African cultural practices, indigenous knowledges (IKs) and ways of knowing. Prior to colonization, Africans were socialized and educated within African indigenous cultural contexts. With the advent of colonization, traditional institutions of knowledge started disappearing due to cultural repression, misrepresentations, misinterpretations and devaluation. Postcolonial educations systems in Sub-Saharan Africa should reclaim Indigenous voices through curriculum reforms. This paper explores the possibilities of reclaim- ing IKs in postcolonial Sub-Saharan African schools and the challenges in revisiting indigenous discourses on school knowledge. The paper argues that it is through the implementation and integration of IKs in schools that students, parents and communities can reclaim their voices in the process of educating the African child.


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