Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Existing Knowledge Related to Mainstreaming IKS into Educational Gender System

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Existing Knowledge Related to Mainstreaming IKS into Educational Gender System

Article excerpt

Mamalatswa Walburga Maruma

School of Education, University of Limpopo

Private Bag X1106, Sovenga, 0727, South Africa


Tebogo Maria Mothiba

School of Health Care Sciences

University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106,

Sovenga, 0727, South Africa

Kaya (2005) Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) refer to the complex set of knowledge, skills and technologies existing and developed around specific conditions of populations and communities indigenous to a particular geographic area. IKS constitute the knowledge that people in a given community have developed over time, and continue to develop. It is the basis for agriculture, food preparation, health care, education and training, environmental conservation, and a host of other activities. Indigenous knowledge is embedded in community practices, institutions, relationships and rituals.

Therefore, in the African indigenous perspective of education, learning to hunt wild game or herd livestock, prepare food or weave cloth, search for wild honey or distinguish medicinal and food plants from poisonous ones, is arguably closer to the original western meaning of 'education' than its current western limitation to academic and theoretical meaning propagated in African higher education institutions (Walter 2002).

Muya (2008) elaborates that in most African traditional societies, children learn in a variety of ways, including free play or interaction with multiple children, immersion in nature, and directly helping adults with work and communal activities.

Learners learn through practice by experimentation, trial and error, independent observation of nature and human behaviour, and through voluntary community sharing of information, story, proverbs, song, and ritual. This made education more relevant to the needs of the learner and her/his respective community, whereas western education puts emphasis on individual success in a broader consumer culture instead of on the learner's or student's ability to survive and contribute to society (Simon 2008).

In the context of promoting industry and indigenous systems of knowledge in India, long before, Fraser (2015) viewed that economic and curricular planning should be 'related to the indigenous products and to the hereditary proclivities of the locality' .These illustrations imply that the colonial government valued the indigenous learning and adopted measures for 'maintenance and furtherance of the ancient indigenous systems of learning' (Government of India, Zimbabwe, like all other African countries) has a very rich body of indigenous knowledge systems which find their expression in their technologies, the local education systems, field of medicine, and expertise in animal husbandry, crop production, climatic change control and management.

The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (DBE 2011) is based on seven principles one of which is valuing indigenous knowledge system, acknowledging the rich history and heritage of this country as important contributors to nurturing the values contained in the constitution. This stresses the importance of including Indigenous knowledge as a study topic in all the subject. Educators in South African public schools in different subjects are in the process of implementing this principle. In Institution of Higher learning, efforts are made to assist educators on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge in the curriculum. North- West University (In the Faculty of Education Science, Office for Short Learning Programmes) in collaboration with The University of Limpopo, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the University of Johannesburg are offering a short courses on IKS for Natural and Life Science and Mathematics classroom. Technology will be on board by October 2016.

For African languages mainstreaming IKS is indicated in the introduction of folklore in the curriculum. It was behind this background that the study aimed at determining existing knowledge related to mainstreaming of IKS into education system. …

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