Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s (NMMU) Faculty of Education is hosting this year’s Mandela Legacy Lecture, with distinguished scholar Prof Catherine Odora-Hoppers to deliver the main lecture under the topical theme “Decolonizing Higher Education in South Africa” this week.
NMMU‘s Faculty of Education heeded the call by the South African Education Research Association (SAERA), which extended an invitation to universities during their annual conference last year to host the 2016 Mandela Legacy Lecture, together with a developmental research methodology workshop.
Prof Odora-Hoppers is a renowned intellectual on issues of international development, social policy, disarmament, peace and human security and is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from NMMU.
As South African universities tackle the complex issues brought to the fore by last year’s #FeesMustFall movement, which speak to a pressing need to decolonise and transform the country’s higher education sector, Prof Odora-Hoppers said it was a “very special challenge for the Universities to want me to address the issue of the magnitude at this point in time”.
“I will be speaking on Decolonizing Higher Education in South Africa towards cognitive justice, which speaks to the rights of all forms and traditions of knowledge to co-exist without duress. This is the guiding pillar for my chair,” she said.
“The main thrust of the presentation is to re-cast ‘decolonization’ and ‘transforming’ in [the South African] ‘context’, and bringing in crucial concepts that can lead us forward.
“If we are going to tackle this topic, it must come to a strategic point. We need to think about how to shift focus in the higher education sector.”
Education senior lecturer Dr Shervani Pillay said the Mandela Legacy Lecture aims to focus on the world renowned statesman and his contributions and ideas on education.
“It is our belief that the time has come to pause in the reflection of what Nelson Mandela has said, and to begin to enact the ideals for which he was prepared to die for within the context of education. His ideal of the rebirth of Africa from the ashes of colonization is a mammoth task for all, but that should not deter us,” she said.
“As a Faculty and a university that bears his name, we are committed to this ideal, which he articulated very poetically [when he said] ‘I am the product of Africa and her long-cherished view of rebirth that can be realized so that all of her children may play in the sun’.”
The developmental workshop will be divided into two sessions. One is titled “Decolonizing Research through Visual Methodology Workshop” and will be presented by Prof Naydene de Lange and Dr Mathabo Khau. The session on “Decolonizing Research through Arts-based Research” will be presented by Professors Theresa Chisanga and Nkosinathi Sotshangane.
Given the developmental nature of the workshop, there is no registration fee to be charged and post graduate students are encouraged to attend these sessions, with registration open until Wednesday, August 31.
Details of the Mandela Legacy Lecture are as follows:
Date: 02 September 2016
Venue: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School, 2nd Avenue Summestrand, Port Elizabeth
Decolonization Methodologies Workshops: Lecture Halls 0002 0003 from 11:00
Mandela Legacy Lecture: Auditorium at 5pm
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