Education for All (EFA) and 'African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS)': the case of the Chewa People of Zambia.
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This research is an investigation of whether “African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS)” can enhance the achievement of Education for All (EFA) with particular reference to the Chewa people of Zambia. The study raises challenges that many countries have experienced in their effort to achieve EFA. Among the Chewa people of Zambia, quality, relevance and credibility of the education are some of the reasons affecting the provision of education to all. This research has argued that formal schooling education, in its current form may not be the right vehicle to deliver EFA goals. The research has proposed alternative forms of knowledge that could be hybridized with the formal schooling education to address some of the challenges identified. The research has tried to re-appropriate some Chewa AIKS to theorize curriculum and pedagogy reforms that could enhance the achievement of the EFA goals. I have used qualitative research methodology in the study. The respondents in this study were drawn from two areas of community of practice i.e. the Chewa traditional chiefs and elders as perceived custodians of the Chewa AIKS and the educationists, as implementers of education programs and policy and curriculum designers. Key issues identified by this research include the following: that a replacement of the formal schooling education by the AIKS is not an answer to the current challenges facing the provision of meaningful education to all; that through consultations, and co-ordination by all stakeholders and research in AIKS and formal schooling education, either system would shed off elements perceived as barriers to EFA; and be hybridized to complement each other to enhance the achievement of EFA goals; that the formal schooling education should not be considered to be superior to informal and nonformal education systems, but that all are critical components in this quest. Theories and frameworks of hybridization of forms of knowledge/education have been considered in this research. I have argued that hybridizing AIKS with the formal schooling system will only become significant if an economic value is added to the AIKS through some mechanisms put in place. The practical skills embedded in AIKS could foster career building, entrepreneurship and apprenticeship if linked to the money economy of employment and wealth creation. I have argued that there may be need to establish opportunities for AIKS holders to be accredited within the National Qualification Framework and policy framework on AIKS be enacted to regulate and protect IK, and guide the hybridization process. The study highlights three main frameworks on the hybridization of the AIKS and the formal schooling curriculum: (1) Mainstreaming/ Incorporation/ Integration/ infusion of the AIKS into the formal school curriculum. (2) Establishing IK as a core subject with a structure similar to those of other core subjects in the curriculum. (3) Teaching AIKS as a component of the seven official Zambian languages that are taught in schools.
University of Nottingham
SubjectAfrican Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Compulsory Education for All Europeans
Education For All