Debate on Decolonising Research and Teaching and Learning in Health Sciences Sphere
UKZN’s College of Health Sciences (CHS) recently hosted a conference under the topic: Decolonisation, Dignity, and Humanisation, with the aim of encouraging a discussion on the question of decolonising African Research and Teaching and Learning in the sphere of Health Sciences.
This gathering was hosted in partnership with the South African Medical Research Council; UNISA’s Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit, and UNISA’s ISHS Transdisciplinary African Psychologies Programme.
‘A relevant curriculum without borders is exactly the attitude and approach we need when it comes to the Teaching and Learning arena,’ said Dean of Teaching and Learning at CHS, Professor Sinegugu Duma, who officially opened the proceedings.
‘Institutions of learning should start focusing on serving human knowledge rather than theory – curriculum decolonisation is a stern call that is worth deliberating on.’
The meeting gave academics, professional services staff and students an opportunity to have an open debate on how they perceived decolonisation in the academic context in the field of Health Sciences.
‘There is a whole lot of rich indigenous knowledge that does not form part of the Basic and Higher Education curricula, due to the historical marginalisation and devaluation of African experiences. This cognitive injustice can be corrected by initiating conversations between different knowledge traditions, on an equal basis,’ said former Dean and Head of the School in Applied Human Sciences, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize.
Mkhize is also former President of the South African Humanities. He specialises in language and instruction, has been involved in isiZulu terminology development and translation for psychology and other Social Sciences disciplines.
Professor Kopano Ratele of the Institute for Social and Health Sciences at Unisa, spoke on: What Does Decolonisation Have to do with Dignity and Humanising Research, Teaching and Learning?
Ratele, also a researcher in the South African Medical Research Council/Unisa Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit, is perhaps best known for his work on men and masculinity, specifically in relation to violence, race, and sexualities.
Professor Nyna Amin from UKZN’s Discipline of Curriculum Studies based her talk on: Decolonising end of life care curriculum and covered possibilities and pitfalls in teacher education, medical education, gender and dialogue analysis.
Words by: Lihle Sosibo