Advertisement

Decoloniality of Higher Education in Zimbabwe

  • Monica Zembere
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, Monica Zembere highlights the institutional disadvantagedness of students from rural secondary schools in accessing science education in Zimbabwean higher education institutions. Zembere uses the prism of decoloniality theory, particularly the concepts of getting in and getting through to analyse the interface between rural secondary schools in Zimbabwe and higher education that is equitable and accessible. Ultimately, Zembere shows how Zimbabwean students seeking to access higher education are restricted in both general access and the study fields for which they may enrol in higher education. The restrictions are typically socio-economic in nature as the disadvantaged habitus of such learners deprives them of the linguistic, cultural and economic capital to integrate seamlessly into higher education. Zembere argues that accessing higher education in Zimbabwe still subtly follows the social stratification criteria introduced by colonialism. As such, the disadvantaged socio-economic conditions of students from Zimbabwean rural secondary schools determine whether such students access higher education, and if they do, their background in principle determines which programmes they may study or not. Besides problems of access and choice of study programmes students from disadvantaged backgrounds face, once such students join the university, there is also the challenge of epistemic access with which they have to grapple. By and large, Zembere argues that such access is embodied by possession (or a lack thereof) of English proficiency, which is scarcely the mother tongue of or the lingua franca for the rural communities in which the students develop; yet, it is the sole language of instruction, research and academic discourse in the university. In the light of such challenges, Zembere recommends that there must be renewed investment into transforming the social and school environment of rural school learners. The bureaucratic requirements for admission into higher education, such as especially higher fees for science programmes, must be reviewed so that they should cease to function as tools for filtering out rural-based students.

References

  1. Bitzer. (2010). The effects of factors related to prior schooling on student persistence in higher education. South African Journal of Education, 24(2), 119–125.Google Scholar
  2. Chafika, I. (2007). Transforming education: The power of ICT policies. UNESCO.Google Scholar
  3. Chafika, F. (2012). Fragility and education in Zimbabwe. Harare: Government Printers.Google Scholar
  4. Clancy, P., & Goastellec, G. (2007). Exploring access and equity in higher education: Policy and performance in a comparative perspective. Higher Education Quarterly, 61(2), 136–154.Google Scholar
  5. Coleman, J., Wong, K. K., & Nicotera, A. (2002). Equality of educational opportunity: A 40 year retrospective. In International studies in educational inequality, theory and policy (Vol. 4, pp. 23–45). Springer.Google Scholar
  6. Faleye, O. (2014). Africa and international relations theory: Acquiescence and response. Journal of Globalisation Studies, 5(2), 81–90.Google Scholar
  7. Hwami, M. (2011). Understanding the crisis in higher education in Zimbabwe: Critical explorations. In D. Kapoor (Ed.), Critical perspectives on neoliberal globalization, development and education in Africa and Asia (pp. 103–119). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hwami, M. (2014). Education for the peasantry in Zimbabwe as internal colonialism. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, 2(2), 1–10.Google Scholar
  9. Jacobs, L. (2013). A vision of equal opportunity in postsecondary education. In H.-D. Meyer, E. P. S. John, M. Chankseliani, & L. Uribe (Eds.), Fairness in access to higher education in a global perspective: Reconciling excellence, efficiency, and justice (pp. 41–56). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Maldonado-Torres, N. (2007). On the coloniality of being. Journal of Cultural Studies, 21(2), 240–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Matavire, M. (2014). An evaluation of the impact of economic sanctions on science teaching and learning at secondary level in Zimbabwe’s Mbire district of Mashonaland Central. Education Journal, 4(5), 194–200.Google Scholar
  12. Mawere. (2014). Divining the future of Africa: Healing the wounds, restoring dignity and fostering development. Langaa RPCIG.Google Scholar
  13. Mazrui, A. A. (2003). Towards re-africanising African universities: Who killed intellectualism in the post-colonial era? Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, 2(3 & 4), 135–163.Google Scholar
  14. McCowan, T. (2007). Expansion without equity: An analysis of current policy on access to higher education in Brazil. Higher Education, 53(5), 579–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McCowan, T. (2013). Three dimensions of equity of access to higher education. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 46(4), 645–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mignolo, W. (2000). The many faces of cosmo-polis: Border thinking and critical cosmopolitanism. Public Culture, 12(3), 721–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mignolo, W. (2011). The darker side of western modernity. Global futures, decolonial options. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Morrow, W. E. (2009). Bounds of democracy: Epistemological access in higher education. Cape Town: HSRC Press.Google Scholar
  19. Naidoo, V. (2015). Transnational higher education: Why it happens and who benefits? International Higher Education, 4(58), 233–467.Google Scholar
  20. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. (2013). Empire, global coloniality and African subjectivity. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
  21. Nyamnjoh, F. (2004). Reconciling ‘the rhetoric of rights’ with competing notions of personhood and agency in Botswana. In H. Englund & F. Nyamnjoh (Eds.), Rights and the politics of recognition in Africa (pp. 33–63). London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  22. Nyamnjoh, F. (2012a). Potted plants in greenhouses: A critical reflection on the resilience of colonial education in Africa. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 47(2), 129–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Nyamnjoh, F. (2012b). Blinded by sight: Divining the future of anthropology in Africa. Africa Spectrum, 47(2–3), 63–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zembere, M. (2018). Democratic citizenship education in Zimbabwe’s higher education system and its implications for teaching and learning. Doctoral dissertation, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica Zembere
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Bindura University of Science Education in ZimbabweBinduraZimbabwe

Personalised recommendations