n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Challenges and opportunities for IKS in higher education institutions in South Africa : politics, ideological, institutional cultures and structural dimensions

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



In 2004 the Department of Science and Technology in the Republic of South Africa adopted a policy on Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). By doing so it moved IKS from just being a political and academic rhetoric into a political policy of government. The policy "affirms African cultural values in the face of globalization - a clear imperative given the need to promote a positive African identity" (IKS Policy, Chapter 5; page 9). The policy also provides for practical measures for the development of services provided by IK holders and practitioners. It also focuses on the contribution of the IKS to the economy. The policy further provides for the establishment of various legislative and institutional bodies. However despite this legislative initiative over a decade now, higher education institutions have not integrated IKS in their curriculum development. There are many reasons for this; some are historical, political, ideological, institutional and structural. The purpose of this article is to analyse how these challenges have hindered the development of IKS in higher education institutions and conclude with prospects for development.

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