Decoloniality as a Viable Response to Educational Transformation in Africa

  • Chikumbutso Herbert ManthaluEmail author
  • Yusef Waghid


In this chapter, Chikumbutso Manthalu and Yusef Waghid posit that the process of transforming education is an endeavour of social and global justice. As such, embarking on a decoloniality of education is in principle neither a political ideology nor a mere achievement of some perceived balance in the representation of perspectives in an education curriculum or a mere emphasis of what has been especially systematically marginalised. Instead, the authors argue that decoloniality of education is rooted in the ideal of democratic open-endedness towards knowledge (re)construction and otherness, governed by free inquiry and not being limited by a particularistic hegemonic tradition that determines the type of conceptual paradigms and objects of epistemological inquiry that are valid in academic inquiry. Manthalu and Waghid concede that the legacy of colonialism and its mutated form of globalism still informs epistemological marginalisation of African experiences in education in Africa. However, the authors argue against conflating decoloniality with an Africanisation that is essentially exclusive of otherness. While decoloniality is in a sense backward-looking and corrective, it is fundamentally a normative principle grounded in human equality and respect for human dignity hence forward-looking too. This, the authors argue, implies that decoloniality ought to be guarded from an uncritical elevation of everything indigenous or abandoning everything Eurocentric or discounting the claims of Eurocentric knowledge. Making education essentially Afrocentric undermines the agency of being human in this interconnected world where geographical situatedness is not essentialist and definitive of being. Ideal decoloniality calls for a critical study of all perspectives as legitimate equal objects of knowledge without undue privileging and prejudicing some perspectives. The authors thus hold that it is incumbent upon African political leadership and higher education to initiate such transformation by providing both financial and conceptual resources.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, Chancellor College, University of MalawiZombaMalawi
  2. 2.Department of Education Policy StudiesStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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