Indigenous knowledge system is also called traditional or local knowledge which describe the experiential good sense or judgement based on teaching and experiences which have been generally transmitted from generation to the future generation and also it refers to the knowledge of traditional people. In complete, indigenous knowledge systems cannot be divided into individual sections or categorized and cannot be isolated from people. It is plant in the spiritual health, language, norms, values, attachment of place, culture and worldview of the individuals or people and it is the way of life on how people are expected to behave and to live. In addition, the Christian worldview, African traditional worldview and western worldview are not all included in education systems and result to new curriculum implementation that can accommodate all the different worldviews.
Indigenous education refers to the education that focuses on delivering content based on traditional or indigenous knowledge, methods, models and content within the educational systems. I disagree with the statement that says “central to education is an ideal of sharing accumulated knowledge” because traditional African worldview, christians worldview and other religions are not all are included in the content and context of educational systems but this systems promote or encourage western worldview. For example, children in schools are not taught bible which is part of the Christian worldview and currently many schools forbid the procedure of attending assembly every day before they start delivering content because educational system believe that people have different religions. Furthermore, in South Africa children are taught according to the western language which is English resulting them not knowing their mother tongue and forgetting and neglecting their own culture because the educational systems is based on western worldview.
Indigenous knowledge systems includes both the content and context of the very complicated or detailed knowledge systems acquired over generations by traditional communities as they have an effect on each other with the environment. It goes with these systems: technology, learning, social, economic and philosophical and governance systems (Hammersmith, 2008:26). Furthermore, the traditional African and western communities differ regarding belief values, techniques, norms that people are expected to believe in and if this knowledge systems or worldviews are separated conceptually they will be useful in helping people to think (Grange, 2004:85).
Worldview refers to way people see or perceive and understand the world regarding beliefs, politics, culture and religions, it’s connected to our lifetime experiences. In South Africa, people believe in different worldviews which leads to people having different thoughts for an example, traditional African people believe that when a person dies they re-unite with their ancestors while Western people believe that there is no life after death and all of this is not included in educational systems.
Indigenous knowledge systems should be promoted in educational systems. According to Samali & Kingchoe (cited by Jacobs 2015) integrating indigenous knowledge in the school curriculum to work together with the western knowledge will lead to a health community and promote unfair discrimination and equity within students. In South Africa there must be a new curriculum implementation that can accommodate all worldviews that are found in the country. In that case, indigenous people will have freedom to practice their own worldviews within the educational system and this can help people to embrace their culture.
- Le Grange, L. (2004). Western science and indigenous knowledge: competing perspectives or complementary frameworks?: perspective on higher education. South African Journal of Higher Education. 18(3), 82-91.
- Hammersmith, J.L. 2007. Converging indigenous and western knowledge systems: implications for tertiary education: 31-42
- Jocobs, K.O. 2015. The classroom implementation of indigenous knowledge in the science curriculum by science teachers in Western Cape Province, South Africa. South African journal of Higher Education: 57-71