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African values important for transformation, says deputy minister
2007-11-06

The Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Enver Surty, says real transformation in education cannot take place if African values and belief systems are not put at the centre of educational practices.

Mr Surty was speaking last night at the launch of the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

According to the Deputy Minister of Education, the launch of the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State shows a strong commitment by the university to transformation.

“It shows the readiness on the part of the institution to create and consolidate space for African epistemologies as a way of reclaiming our African identity”, Mr Surty said.

He said the launch provided all stakeholders with a golden opportunity to influence curriculum development in schools so that it better reflects the understanding and the desire to learn more about Africa. He said this cannot happen without a sound knowledge produced by Africans, which can then be shared with the rest of humanity.

“It is no longer tenable that African scholars should take a back seat and merely consume, often uncritically, knowledge systems that have been produced and sifted through other minds. Similarly, our intellectual pursuits cannot take place in isolation. Indeed our fountains of knowledge could only be deepened with more exposure to, and critical engagement with other systems of knowledge across the world”, he said.

According to the Director of the Africa Studies Programme at the UFS, Prof Phillip Nel, the Centre for Africa Studies will focus on the issues and challenges of Africa and make the context of Africa a part of the UFS’s academic activities in a sustained and innovative way.

The centre will closely co-operate and liaise with prominent African initiatives and structures like the African Union, Pan-African Parliament, Southern African Development Community (SADC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and many others.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@mail.ufs.ac.za  
 

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