The Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (CIKS) recently hosted an international colloquium on Creating Space for Local Solutions in the Global Knowledge Economy.
Attending the event held on 25 May 2018 were international students who are part of the USA-based International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP).
The highlight of the colloquium was the keynote presentation on Indigenous Languages and Higher Education Transformation by Dr Langa Khumalo, Director of Language Planning at UKZN. He also shared the UKZN institutional language policy, especially the role of isiZulu as an important cultural tool of institutional teaching, research and community engagement at the Institution. ‘Language is central in organising and transmitting knowledge. It’s disempowering for most African language speakers to learn in a language that is not their mother tongue,’ he said, also outlining UKZN’s language policy and the innovations developed by the University Language Planning and Development Office (ULPDO), including the ‘biggest African language corpus in the world.’
There were also presentations on African Mathematics and by IKS postgraduate students on various IKS research topics such as IKS and Climate Change Adaptation; IKS and Reproductive Healthcare; Neglected Diseases and Traditional Medicine as well as Neglected Tropical Diseases and Chemistry of Indigenous Medicinal Plants.
Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer
Photograph by Albert Hirasen