News & Media

Transformation - Youthful, bold voices speak

Over the past few years, some South African higher education institutions have taken a valiant stance to analyse and re-examine the teaching and learning practices in the education system. It has been an interaction mainly between educational experts on the one hand, and policy makers and decision makers on the other. Below, Unisa students and alumni share their views on what curriculum transformation means, how it will benefit the youth and how it can be achieved. In the final section, they share their views on the political landscape in the country.

Alois Ncube, BA Honours in Integrated Organisational Communication: 2020 (Alumnus)

Curriculum transformation in higher education means evolving the current curricula to help address and solve the issues currently facing the country. Factors such as technological advancements and educational inclusivity need to be addressed. These would help the youth to apply knowledge and come up with solutions such as creating employment and collaborations that can help empower one another and the next generation.

Academics need to be allowed to be creative and innovative. They should not be bound by philosophies that do not apply to the existing generation. They should address Africa’s issues. This is crucial, especially at an advanced research level.

Bokamoso Marema, BA in Health Science and Social Science: Final year

Curriculum transformation means the reformation and decolonisation of the teaching and learning systems of South Africa's higher education. It also means emancipating students from irrelevant curricula that do not benefit them, especially in securing employment and/or financial freedom.

Transformed curricula would be relevant and relatable to the students and give them tools and resources that are necessary for the times that they live in, and in addressing the issues they face.

This can be achieved by changing the teaching and learning content in order to allow for education to be a vehicle that can help the country’s youth to secure bright futures.

Alois Ncube

Bokamoso Marema

Theo Chaka, BA in Communication Science: 1st year

For me, curriculum transformation means change that opens opportunities for people who have been side-lined for the longest time in the curricula. 

It would benefit the youth greatly as they will be studying at a time where they are included in the curricula, and there will possibly not be discrimination on the basis of gender, race, sexuality, and so on.

Curriculum transformation can be achieved through campaigns that are aimed at informing people about the change that is about to happen in the curricula and to avoid a culture shock. Also important is to engage with the youth to find out what they would appreciate in this regard.

Simphiwe Mthimunye, BA in International Relations: 2nd year

Curriculum transformation means changing the curricula in a way that better suits the current economic and social standards in South Africa. Most importantly, it also means decolonising higher education.

I think that it will help the current youth and the next generations to approach problems differently and come up with solutions that will be beneficial for their future.

The starting point to achieving curriculum transformation should be getting a consensus, which might not be easy because of the ongoing conversations and debates. However, a consensus could lead to implementation by the government.

Theo Chaka

Simphiwe Mthimunye

Youth on South African politics

Unisa students and alumni also shared their insights on the current political landscape in South Africa. They spoke on whether the country is moving forward, whether they will be voting in the upcoming local elections, and what they think could be done differently.

Boitumelo Zitha, BA Honours in Media Studies: 2020 (Alumnus)

The political status of South Africa is deteriorating to an almost decayed level. Not even our powerful constitution that is globally commended, or public administration reputation management can rescue us. We need a pragmatic "Batho Pele" principle, as people cannot be governed in a democracy that does not prioritise them.

Time waits for no one. The introspective question that South Africa needs to ask is if it is travelling the "road to Mecca", or whether it is travelling circularly in the hope of achieving different results.

I will be voting in the upcoming local elections, as it is a privilege and gift that my lineage has bestowed upon me. Ko vote’a ha monate jwang!

The positioning of South Africa as a global village player and signing bilateral agreements are great, but do not help to precipitate global agendas whilst neglecting the current agendas of South Africa and the people who live in it. In this case, prioritisation is key. We, the youth, are having a nervous breakdown with the debt that South Africa is in, and which the future generations will need to settle. Save us the burden and do better!

Augustine Moagi, Unisa alumnus and currently studying BCom Law: 2/3 year

Among other unsettling issues in South Africa are ever-rising youth unemployment, poverty, gender-based violence, limited opportunities, the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, politicians’ questionable integrity and reliability, as well as the different types of corruption in government. In addition, the country is faced with a high rate of crime and inequality, which prevents its citizens from fully enjoying their rights. Politicians promise a better life for all, but after elections, it is every man for himself.

Our country is drowning in debt and our state enterprises constantly need bailouts. South Africa is not moving forward.

I will participate in the upcoming local elections as I have the capability to change my environment. I would rather be the change I want to see than be silent. Voting gives me a voice that matters and has the power to build a better environment for the next generations.

Greed at the expense of citizens is the cause of most of the country’s problems. Our leaders have the duty to do right by its people. Everyone is equal before the law, so all corrupt individuals must be brought to justice, irrespective of their titles, entitlement, status, race, gender and power. There needs to be funding and growth of sustainable small, medium and micro-enterprises. Young minds need to devise technological solutions and embrace the fourth industrial revolution. They also need to be given an opportunity to make decisions that concern the future of this country. Furthermore, new and effective measures of dealing with gender-based violence need to be adopted.

Boitumelo Zitha

Augustine Moagi

* By Nancy Legodi, Acting Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2021/06/30