WINDHOEK, July 1 – – believes that society should do a self-reflection by reviewing its history, that is, what it is, where it is, where it comes from, how it came to be where it is, who made it possible, why and how did it happen and emancipate towards independence – a better understanding and theoretical explanation of phenomenon which aims to reduce and eliminate the entrapment syndrome of being dominated or dependence on a certain group or formation.
There are different ways through which the curriculum can be reviewed for equity and social justice in Namibian schools. The process of decolonizing the curriculum can be facilitated by drawing from the work of Smith (1999) who identified the following elements of decolonization, namely, deconstruction and reconstruction, self- determination and social justice, ethics, language, internationalization of indigenous experiences, history and critique.
Deconstruction and reconstruction, in the context of our call, concerns reviewing and improving distorted school history curriculum by rewriting it correctly to suit the people for whom it is meant. That includes deconstructing colonial and in this case distorted history in our school curriculum and correcting it by reconstructing it. For example, it will be important to teach Namibian learners about detailed Genocide and the significance of the war against National resistance. It is also of paramount importance to study and teach the true history of Namibia during the pre-colonial days and post-colonial days. There are serious social, economic and environmental history that the Namibian child need to be educated on especially during the pre-colonial days. That means it will be important to teach them about this part of History, as the saying goes “we have no future if we do not know where we come from”.
As part of reviewing the curriculum for equity and social justice, it is important to deconstruct distorted information and reconstruct it so that there is a balance of information to the benefit of learners and future generations. Example, it is important to spell out during a history lesson about how our independence was negotiated and the settlement thereof that gave the Namibian child political freedom and not economic freedom. The compromise reached as it relates to our constitution and how it led to the land ownership still in the hands of the colonizers.
We call for the total review of the history curriculum, it must be reviewed by ensuring the legitimacy of content knowledge embedded in and resembles its self- determined, experiences, histories and ways of viewing reality. For example, in Namibian history, the content has just much to say about the role played by the current political victor while ignoring and excluding the contributions by other forces, and many unrecognized heroes and heroines.