One of the ways by which Africa can overcome problems of underdevelopment is by using its abundant linguistic and cultural resources.
It's important that South African teachers, lecturers and professors develop curricula that build on the best knowledge skills, values, beliefs and habits from around the world.
Rhodesia's white supremacists appealed to the white electorate by taking a stand against African liberation. Similarly, Donald Trump appealed to white Americans who feel overwhelmed by globalisation.
The push for decolonisation could ironically end up trapping universities in a colonised curriculum.
2017 promises to be another tough year as South African universities head into the uncertain terrain of further addressing and healing the divisions that have been exposed.
There are a few questions that can be posed and unpacked if universities are to move towards genuine decolonisation.
More than two decades after apartheid ended, South African universities still tend to offer a view of the country and continent that is rooted in colonial and apartheid thinking.
More than three decades after his death reggae icon Bob Marley’s music remains meaningful. It still has the potential to catalyse conversation not often had in the postcolonial world.
There is broad acknowledgement that the way science is taught and practised in Africa is not socially inclusive.
University authorities in South Africa have agreed to most fees protesters’ demands. Yet, the protesters keep moving the goalposts. Do they want more than fees to fall?
Some have suggested that deracialising the academy requires all researchers, teachers and students to link knowledge and identity. What might this mean for mathematics?
When students are genuinely listened to and understood, and their proposed solutions to problems are taken seriously, real change can happen in university faculties.
Technology had enabled humans to explore the deep sea, the Earth's poles, and outer space. But we shouldn't forget historical lessons about frontiers in the process of traversing them.
Psychologists drew historically from theories of social Darwinism and eugenics to espouse the hierarchical categorisation of people into race groups.
Knowledge is power. If you own it, you can control those without it. Since so much knowledge about Africa doesn't sit on the continent, it's apparent that Africa lacks power in this regard.
Decolonising the curriculum is far more nuanced than replacing theorists and authors. Universities first need to define how they approach the development and dissemination of curricula.
The decolonisation debate in South Africa's universities raises critical issues about the relationship between power, knowledge and learning.
In South Africa there's a value judgment attached to students who take part in universities’ English for Academic Purposes programmes. This shouldn't be the case.
Decolonisation of the curriculum doesn't have to mean the destruction of Western knowledge, but it's decentring. Such knowledge should become one way of knowing rather than the only way.
Africa's universities must avoid collaborative programmes with the North that become mere tick-box exercises that only benefit Northern researchers and organisations.