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ERIC Number: EJ1091578
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-8566
Moving beyond a Destructive Past to a Decolonised and Inclusive Future: The Role of "Ubuntu"-Style Education in Providing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy for Namibia
Biraimah, Karen L.
International Review of Education, v62 n1 p45-62 Feb 2016
Namibia has one of the most dehumanising and destructive colonial pasts of any nation in Africa, or, for that matter, the world. Before colonisation, the area now known as Namibia was home to diverse cultural groups. The successive colonial regimes of Germany and South Africa inflicted genocide, brutality and apartheid on the region. Namibia finally fought for and won its independence in 1990--over three decades after Ghana became the first independent sub-Saharan nation in 1957. Today, Namibia strives to leave behind its troubled past and harness the power of education to provide greater equality of opportunity and quality of life for all of its citizens. The concept of "ubuntu," with its emphasis on inclusiveness, equity and equality, is central to Namibia's pursuit of this goal. Significant challenges stand in its way, including extreme poverty, an emerging economy struggling with drought and a competitive world market, and a populace with multiple mother tongues and cultural traditions. After a brief summary of Namibia's colonial past, this study examines these challenges, noting that the same factors that provide Namibia with a rich and diverse cultural tapestry also pose great difficulties for educators determined to provide equitable education for all. Current inequities in Namibian education are assessed, with a particular focus on the divide between urban and rural Namibia and between the four major ethnic and cultural groupings: the White Afrikaans speakers, the Black African majority, the Coloured population, and the Basters. The study concludes by suggesting multiple ways in which education could be brought closer into line with "ubuntu" values. The author argues that the very same factors that currently pose challenges to the quality and equity of Namibian education (ethnicity, urban/rural location, gender and socioeconomic class) might, if seen from a new perspective, become the basis for educational transformation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Namibia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A