Decolonising the higher education curriculum : an analysis of African intellectual readiness to break the chains of a colonial caged mentality

19 October 2022

Background: Forging ‘new’ decolonial education curriculum policy reform with ill-conceived intents may lead to both socio-political and economic pathologies and failure. Aim: The aim of the social sciences meta synthesis done was to consolidate gathered evidence from published scientific articles on decolonial curriculum reform policies. It was critical during the process of synthesising to acknowledge the fact that Africans continue to experience multifaceted socio-political and economic shifts of being as influenced by a variety of global ideologies. Concerted decolonial efforts should be made to manage these matrices of material social constructs such that the contamination and decapitation of true African educational curricula, identities, cultures, values, ethos and principles are curtailed. Setting: The critical exploration of meta-data underpinned by a critical-dialectical perspective attempted to dig beneath the impact of coloniality of power on the conscious mind of an African intellectual. The critical social research analyses how the African colonised mind can effectively decolonise African university curriculum given their colonially captured mind. Method: An extensive search, guided by selected key words, yielded about 35 articles on decolonisation but were trimmed down to 15 as determined by my main focus thus: decolonial curriculum reform in post-colonial nation states. Results: Findings indicate that African scholars, political pundits and researchers tend to rely on the mentally embedded notion of caged colonial mentality (CCM) in advocating for decolonial curriculum reform, with little regard for the multifaceted seismic shifts that impact on the socio-politico-education life of post-colonial African existential Beings. Conclusion: I strongly advocate for the dismantling of systemic CCM and embrace those seismic shifts that incorporate contemporary decolonial projects when crafting the architecture for decolonial curriculum designs that build on appropriate knowledge, competences, skills, values, beliefs and practices from around the globe to buttress multiplicities of identities, while nevertheless retaining Africa’s interests at the centre.