Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Its really about decolonisation, not managerialism ...

Unless we connect the dots between the current struggles in the various Higher Education institutions and the broader quest for decolonization, we will not understand fully what is happening.
Of course, there are unique, contextual issues and tensions which might differ from one institution to the other. It is however not enough to see these as individual matters to be dealt with by the respective senior management official - it is rather about asking the question about what it means to be a learning community in Africa.
Missionaries (and their children) had to wrestle and come to terms with the reality that we don't stay children forever. Africa, was never a child to be reared from the onset. Hence there was bound to be tension and contradictions. It makes therefore sense to ask the missionaries (again) to please leave. Of course, here I am not referring literally to missionaries - but to the mindset that wants to simply ignore agency, the local and an appreciation for difference. Missionaries (the real ones) had to come to terms with their identity and role in a new context, in the face of decolonization. That journey is not yet close to completion - but it started. Perhaps, current managers and political bosses can learn from this experience and connect the dots.

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