Prospects, opportunities and challenges of a decolonial curriculum in South Africa.
Mbhele, Senzelo Sopatro.
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The Decolonial curriculum is a contested global education discourse debate on the how best to cater for previously disadvantaged population groups to access and excel in higher institutions of learning. The global view that there is a relationship between education and human prosperity is a pillar on which the calls for a decolonial curriculum lie. With the increase in student protests, political conflicts and economic crises in most countries, students are struggling to access university education, and to successfully undertake and complete their studies. In the most recent cases in South Africa, students have taken to the street to register their anger against the South African government for the slow progress of transformation in universities. Reviewing literature on the South Africa 2015/2016 #FeesMustFall University of KwaZulu-Natal student protest, this study sought to explore the prospects, opportunities and challenges of a decolonial curriculum in South African universities. The research focused on factors that facilitate the effective implementation of a decolonial curriculum as an alternative to the current curriculum and the role that student activists play in shaping the discourse of decolonial curriculum debates and implementation. As such, a desktop qualitative literature review approach was used to analyse students’ sentiments on a decolonial curriculum, against the background of the #FeesMustFall protests. No primary data was collected for this study. Grosfoguel's Model of Coloniality theory and three strategies for decolonial education guided this study. Findings suggest that the there is great need for an accelerated approach to a decolonial curriculum in SA universities in order to deal with inequalities, social injustices and human rights. The changes of the current university establishments would address the colonial injustices brought up by apartheid. In order to minimise the negative effects of inequalities in current university curricula, it is recommended that students, universities, religious leaders, communities, non-governmental partners and the government should work together in implanting a viable and sustainable decolonial curriculum in all universities and other institutions of higher learning.