n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Towards a cartography of indigenous knowledge systems in library and information science training and education in Anglophone eastern and southern Africa

Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



The focus of this article is on mapping the inclusion of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) content in the higher education curriculum of universities that offer library and information science (LIS) education in Anglophone eastern and southern Africa (AESA). As universities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are being encouraged to "adapt" and to become more "societally relevant" in their production, transmission and acquisition of knowledge, they should include hitherto subjugated IKS. The main argument is that the inclusion of indigenous knowledge (IK), with its emphasis on context and the holistic nature of human experiences, in higher education may partly offer knowledge that resonates with Bernstein's (2000) horizontal discourses and Dewey's (2004) notion of education that addresses the disposition of the learner holistically. Although some studies on higher education curricula have focused on a diversity of issues, including improved pedagogy, assessment strategies, low achievement, student throughput, content, institutional autonomy and public accountability (Bester, 2011), the scope of this article is limited to the content aspect of the curriculum. Content is at the centre of the relevance of a curriculum in a specific context. A meaningful coverage of IK content in the curriculum may equip information and heritage management professionals with skills and knowledge to preserve the declining IK and elevate it to a respectable level in Africa. The results of this quantitative study confirm that the end of foreign domination in AESA did not bring about a new cartography in the LIS curricula of the universities, as colonial pedagogic practices that undervalued IK have continued to dominate the higher education landscape at the expense of the inclusion of IK.

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