Traditional Healers Involved in KZN Consultative Workshop
The DST/NRF Foundation Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (National IKS Office) conducted a provincial consultative workshop with traditional healers from all the district municipalities of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Centre’s hub is based at UKZN.
The focus of the workshop was on: The Draft National Regulatory Policy Framework for the Accreditation and Certification of Indigenous Knowledge Holders and Practitioners.
The Regulatory Framework will provide a system for recognition, standardisation and professionalisation of indigenous knowledge holders and practitioners’ skills, experience, learning and practices.
Professor HO Kaya, Director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Knowledge Systems which has its hub at UKZN, is a member of the DST (National IKS Office) Working Group which drafted this Regulatory Framework.
The provincial consultation was part of the national public consultative process on the draft document which began in February 2014 before it goes to Cabinet.
The objective of the Regulatory Policy Framework is to redress mainstream IKS and affirm indigenous knowledge as a knowledge domain on its own merit. The process is in line with Chapter 3 of the National IKS Policy (2004) which mandates the Department of Science and Technology to address the elements of indigenous knowledge that are not accommodated within the National Qualification Framework (NQF) and explore the existing opportunities for accreditation and certification of indigenous knowledge holders within the current NQF.
The accreditation and certification of indigenous knowledge holders and practitioners will serve to promote their constitutional rights. Most of the local communities depend on indigenous knowledge for sustainable livelihood in terms of food security, natural resource management and natural disaster management, governance, conflict resolution, health, technologies and many more.
The accreditation of IK holders and practitioners will help Africa contribute to the global pool of knowledge on its own terms using knowledge systems produced by its own practitioners. This knowledge needs to be made visible, recognised and interfaced with the other knowledge systems to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
The process will also provide an opportunity for a mutual professional exchange of knowledge and practices between the IK holders and practitioners and conventional western knowledge practitioners.
- Hassan Kaya