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Nelson Mandela University hosts education colloquium

Jul 21, 2018
Nelson Mandela University hosts education colloquium

The Nelson Mandela University, being the first in history to be named after the world icon, Nelson Mandela, through its Education Faculty held a colloquium where different structures from Pre-School to Tertiary discussed whether Nelson Mandela would've been satisfied by today's education.

The Colloquium was based on the words that were once said by Nelson Mandela: "Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world."

However, it is not a secret that education in South Africa, which is facing its own challenges, is very much Eurocentric and there have been many voices raised about transforming the curriculum so as to change the way that Africans see themselves in the books they read.

The Chancellor of the University, Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, while delivering her keynote address said that it is important to remember that Madiba was part of a collective as we are also part of the broader collective.

"So, it’s not going to take the individuals to make the change, but a collective movement will make the change," she added.

"It's not a secret that education was used by the colonial authorities and the apartheid regime to divide people and to attempt to ensure that the majority of the population be permanently assigned to a place of inferiority in South Africa.”

She noted that today’s young people were not born at that time when Bantu Education was introduced, however many still feel that they are still part of that period.

The Vice Chancellor also said that, although the country may not have achieved the dream that Madiba had for education, but we should be inspired towards a small undertaking.

"As Nelson Mandela University and all of you here, we dare not fail," she added.

The panel was given a chance to choose topics to be discussed during the two-day Colloquium.

Thandiwe Dlawu, from East Cape Midlands College, said that African culture should be added in the curriculum so that morals can be given back to students.

"What education is doing now is throwing out the window the culture of the students by giving them a European one and we are faced with a situation where a student is torn apart and having to choose between the two," she described.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Van Vuuren, who is involved in a physical intervention program, said that education should start from birth, parents must play a major role in education their children because what is taught from birth will never be forgotten.

The colloquium ended on Friday.