Thursday, July 14, 2011

Decolonising our universities by Shad Faruqi - The STAR

Decolonising our universities


Western chemistry had its predecessor in Eastern alchemy, Algebra had African roots, and Arabic was at one time the lingua franca of science and technology.

AN ongoing international conference in Penang is examining the issue of intellectual enslavement in Asian and African citadels of learning. Luminary after luminary are pointing out that education in Asia and Africa is too West-centric. It blindly apes Western universities and Western curricula.

Our university courses reflect the false belief that Western knowledge is the sum total of all human knowledge.

The books prescribed and the icons and godfathers of knowledge are overwhelmingly from the North Atlantic countries.

Titles written by scholars and thinkers from Asia and Africa are rarely included in the book list. Our curricula exhibit lack of awareness of the Asian and African contributions to civilisation.

Read more on this article


Anonymous said...

NO point clamoring who invented first or re-invented the wheel.In term of science an technology, it is not an issue of western-centric,there no such thing as islamic or jewish science, it can be from any region, past and present dont make any difference bcos it benefit all mankind, to glorify and romanticising (the past achievement by Arabs) is trivial indulgence.This only confined to fine history reading.

However,In term of social science, histories , culture,etc. It is true that we dont have to ape the western U's.Anyway,I dont understand professor's concern. Education is education. We know which one is good and which one is not.I dont think we need to 'decolonise' our thought system.Only politicians use this ....for..

Anonymous said...

Yip! education is education. There no substitution for good education. I only fear 'indoctrination' in the guise of education.This article is only good for his ego-trip

Reality Check said...

Totally agree with Anonymous @July 15, 12:47pm.

If we need to study the history of who invented what first or last, then let us study history, period. Who invented what first, or who were leaders in education a thousand years ago should not be the basis for structuring our academic syllabus.