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[An intergenerational critically reflective participatory study of] the effects of education on changing livelihood strategies of San people in the Oshana resettlement farm at Okongo, Namibia.

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2021

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Abstract

San people in Namibia have faced numerous challenges over the years to the extent of even being classified as marginalised even though they are the first living known [in]habitants on the motherland. This study took a critical approach to understanding the effect education has on the livelihood strategies of San People from Oshanashiwa Resettlement Farm in Okongo Constituency of Ohangwena Region. The main objectives were to develop/construct my critical understanding of the nature of livelihoods of young and old San people at Oshanashiwa Resettlement Farm, to investigate the role of non-formal, informal and formal education and learning over time on livelihood strategies and finally to create awareness about contextually appropriate/inclusive education and socioeconomic development policies that better support sustainable livelihood strategies for San people in Oshanashiwa Resettlement Farm and other San people that shares a similar context. Through a participatory research, this qualitative study supported by a critical paradigm used focused groups and a community discussion for data collection. Four focused groups; two groups for participants aged 18 to 45 years, two groups of participants above 45 and one community discussion of a mixed group of both young and old community members were conducted. The grouping was consciouly done to accommodate inputs, opinions and knowledge from different generations of San people. This approach was necessary to get various experiences of livelihoods and educations at different times in the history of San people from Oshanashiwa Resettlement Farm. The analysis found that San people from this farm are going through various social, economic and health challenges such as chronic illnesses, hunger, violence, and abuse. The analysis also revealed that livelihood strategies currently present in the farm such as subsistence farming, selling of crafted items, piecework and food aid from the government are not sustainable. When it came to education and its role on livelihood strategies, formal education has not played a major nor a significant role as most participants only have a primary level education. However, informal and non-formal education predominantly contributed to the current livelihood strategies respectively.

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Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.

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