Commonwealth Youth and Development - Volume 10, Issue 1, 2012
Volume 10, Issue 1, 2012
Source: Commonwealth Youth and Development 10, pp 1 –3 (2012)More Less
In the discourses on political, economic and cultural development in most African countries, youths are imaged as objects and not active initiators of development projects in their communities. The political culture where adults monopolise processes of defining the content and ideological scope of development agendas persists in Africa. Since 2010, this patriarchal rooted culture was challenged in a series of political upheavals in North Africa. The development priorities that African youths are forcing on their governments to adopt can no longer be ignored in any part of Africa. This issue of Commonwealth Youth and Development does not contain articles that confront the issues of political decay in Africa in a direct way. However, some of the contributors to this issue highlight the conditions that have encouraged the submersion of youths' voices. More importantly, other contributors to this issue have deliberately underlined the significance of the initiatives that are being undertaken by some adults to render visible the aspirations of the ordinary African youths.
Engaging with and beyond the philosophy of learner-centredness in curriculum development and design for distance education youths in South AfricaAuthor Katy KhanSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 10, pp 4 –11 (2012)More Less
In the past, distance education was associated with a working adult population that wanted to re-skill. In South Africa, thousands of young people with neither a job nor any previous tertiary education are having to enter universities that offer degrees through the system of open and distance education. This poses, for many of the youth, challenges that have forced distance education institutions to adopt teaching methods that simulate as near as possible, the 'contact' model of conventional universities. One of the strategies adopted for these youths and adults studying through distance education is the need to embed the philosophy of learner-centredness in the learning materials. Scholars in South Africa have continued to attempt to explain this philosophy, and in many cases differ more than they agree on what it should entail. The aim of this article is to explore the necessity of the philosophy of student-centredness in the development of materials in distance education environments. The entrenchment of the conventional university with the educator as sole owner of knowledge took away the power to interact and generate forms of new knowledge from the learners. The current need to democratise education through distance education demanded that educators abate the power they had monopolised. Devolving the production of knowledge-as-power in distance education called for re-orientation of the learning processes.
This structure explores the strategies that educators in Open Distance Learning curriculum design environments have adopted to be as close as possible to their students learning at a distance.
The structure argues that one of the major strategies to achieve this has been to propagate the role of interactional activities in learning materials (modules) within Open and Distance Learning (ODL) environments. This structure offers preliminary insights into a subject that is as exciting as it is controversial. The structure emphasises the potential of the learner-centred philosophy to impart critical crossfield skills that might redefine another difficult concept of graduate-ness in the context of the Tuition Policy of Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) in South Africa.
ReaGilè in South Africa's townships : tracing the design and development of a "small" idea for life-size community upliftmentAuthor Nyasha MbotiSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 10, pp 12 –31 (2012)More Less
ReaGilè (pronounced 'Ree-e-gee-le') is a Southern Sotho phrase meaning "We Have Built". The phrase suggests dialogic praxis, negotiation, self-reliance and popular participation in the radical, humanising Freirean sense. In this paper, this term is the name of a project that brings the theme of development into sharp focus. ReaGilès are pre-fabricated, self-contained, education and entertainment complexes situated on a 400m2 stand at local schools or public open spaces consisting of a 60 seat cinema theatre, 30 seat computer and internet centre, community care aid centre and community policing centre. These complexes are planned to service historically under-serviced South African townships, peri-urban and rural areas and help create jobs, especially amongst the youth, women and the disabled. Based on the philosophy that money and wealth cannot be taken from the poor to give to the rich, and applying a dialogic strategic partnership co-operative model, each ReaGilè co-op will provide free auditorium and computer education facilities to township and rural schools, be owned and run by 21 local community members, provide a stipend, medical-aid and a share of all distributable profits to each member, give preference to women, youth and the disabled, structure prices affordable to each community, offer free sport, edutainment, community news and adverts on five outdoor screens and be financed through government, other grants and/or term loans. This paper outlines the ReaGilè idea and its implementation in South Africa from a community development point of view, discussing its implications both for the community services industry value chain and job-creation. It also uses the ReaGilè concept to problematise the notion of "development" and of "youth and development".
Language and political awareness project in ESL teaching for the development of Nigerian youth to engender social changeAuthor Henry J. HunjoSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 10, pp 32 –46 (2012)More Less
The need for training the African youth to take up responsibilities of breaking social, political and economic challenges of development has undergone many theoretical and experimental stages of discourse amongst scholars of varied backgrounds. Despite this, very little attention has been paid to the development of a second language learning and teaching model that caters for the need for language of education to create "critical language awareness" potentials in school children. This paper, using ideas from Norman Fairclough's (2001, 193) theory of critical language awareness, an aspect of critical discourse analysis (CDA), examines the possibilities of teaching English as a second language to Nigerian youths with the aim of developing critical social awareness. The theory, as applied in this paper, reveals that the teaching of English in Nigerian schools should consider the incorporation into the language curriculum ideas that encourage the development of mental models of using language to engender a political order that attends to basic human needs. The data analysed in this paper to show that the English language must be taught to ensure youth development for the benefit of African sociopolitical growth are drawn from Wole Soyinka's non-fictional texts, especially You Must Set Forth At Dawn (Soyinka, 2006). The paper reports that the first generation of post-independence politicians have failed to create the political environment that provides basic amenities for human development. Therefore, the youth have the responsibility of engendering a new society. To achieve the new society, language teaching must be designed to make school children sensitive to filling human needs.
Source: Commonwealth Youth and Development 10, pp 47 –59 (2012)More Less
The paper investigates the relationship between theatre of the youths by the youths and for the youths and development. In Zimbabwe and as in elsewhere, theatre has historically played a significant role in constructing national identity. Theatre examines the nature of social and cultural change, its importance and structure. The paper depicts the youth's culture embedded in Raisedon Baya's Tomorrow's People (2009), not only as initiators of development but also as the fountain of progress and creativity. The paper pays special attention to the symbolic construction of temporality - the future - within the socio-political and economic context of social change in Zimbabwe. Culture, where theatre is involved, has become an increasingly important factor to the revival of the nations' cultural identities by linking questions of economic and political developments. This phenomenon evolves from the global dynamics of development and change necessitated by internal restructuring of societies. Theatre has turned out to be a potent weapon in privileging youths' action, agency and transformation through recreation and re-enactment of African life. This is possible through intensified intercultural communication supported by the ever-increasing technological advancements. Youths' participation in theatre is not only an essential component of human growth but helps the young to develop their full potential. Theatre becomes a vehicle for youth development by promoting sustainable conflict prevention techniques that provide the much needed space to enhance their competencies and develop skills and attitudes in engaging their peers. The paper further interrogates strategies for ensuring that youths are mainstreamed into society to participate in all social processes.
The persistent cultural female genital mutilation practice : a cause for the elusive search for access to education of the Kenyan girl childSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 10, pp 60 –73 (2012)More Less
Although Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a controversial subject in Western societies, it is an internationally recognised term for operations that involve circumcision of young girls for cultural or other non-medical purposes in traditional societies such as the Kuria district, Nyanza province and Kenya. The key concern is that despite the existing awareness of its danger and several attempts to eradicate it, the practice still persists. This research has established that FGM not only interferes with the child's health, but hinders her formal educational progress as she does not return to school after undergoing the cultural rite since she considers herself a woman and opts for early marriage. This affects her future advancement negatively and leads to increasing poverty levels and desperation. It is important therefore, that factors hindering the girl child from accessing formal education are examined and solutions found towards eradicating them.
Zimbabwe genocide : voices and perception on "development" and "democracy" from the youth and old people of Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces 32 years onSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 10, pp 74 –100 (2012)More Less
Studies on genocide in Zimbabwe in particular, and the world in general, focus on the number of people who die during these tragic conflicts. Although statistics can provide a sense of the magnitude of the negative impact of genocide, it is now significant to redirect attention towards understanding the conditions under which the people of Matabeleland and the Midlands are living after the Gukurahundi genocide that happened between 1980 and 1987. In order to do so, it is imperative to consider the importance of youth voices, views and perceptions and - those also, of the old people who are the surviving victims - regarding their understanding of the meaning of "development" and "democracy" against the background of perceptions - real or imagined - of marginalisation in a country that witnessed genocide as a form of political control. Furthermore, it is crucial to identify and highlight how youth and the old people from these regions in Zimbabwe define and redefine, for themselves, popular notions of "development" and "democracy" as they attempt to create new frames of aspirations embodied out of the lived experiences of suffering in the past and continuing ethnic-based perceptions of victimisation in a country that is 32 years into political independence. Rather than adopting a top-down approach that imposes definitions of what is "development" or "democracy," these people, the search for the meaning of life for the genocide victims can be done without wishing away the painful past, but with a desire to project into a possible and safer future. Research on genocide in Matabeleland and the Midlands Province, therefore, needs to ascertain and register, whether or not there have been changes in the voices, views and perceptions of the victims of Gukurahundi about the issues of inclusive development and democracy. It is argued in this paper that if the political, economic and social conditions of the people from these affected areas have not changed, this constitutes a continuing silent genocide whose dimensions and impact on development and expanding democratic spaces must be interrogated. Evaluating perceptions of victims of genocide in Zimbabwe, using interviews and questionnaires in Tsholotsho, Gweru, Mberengwa, Nkayi and Umzingwani can elicit responses to the questions regarding the preferred paths of development and democracy by the victims of the political disturbances. However, on the other hand if the responses to the questions are positive and affirming that there are new values that inform development and a new culture of democracy in Zimbabwe, we still need to analyse the content of what I call, the "victim's assertive spiritual agency" that is important when considering how the people have forged ahead with their lives despite or because of a previous history of persecution.