The development of context-relevant teaching tools using local and indigenous knowledge: reflections of a sociologist, a sociolinguist and a feminist scholar
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Schooling in South Africa is structured according to the Revised National Curriculum Statement (RNCS) for Grades R to 9 and the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) for Grades 10 to 12. The National Curriculum outlines the skills and abilities that learners should achieve in order to exhibit the prescribed outcomes for each Learning Area and grade, but it does not prescribe the subject content or tools to be used to teach these skills and abilities. This paper reflects on the journey of three researchers involved in a study that aims to develop context-relevant teaching tools using indigenous and local knowledges in collaboration with local teachers and community members, to be utilised in seven schools, in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape. In the South African context indigenous knowledge (IK) refers to a body of knowledge embedded in African philosophical thinking and social practices that have evolved over the years. Zazu (2008) argues that the role and value of indigenous knowledge systems in enhancing and contextualizing education was recognized as early as 1978. Furthermore, according to the NCS, indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) have been proposed for inclusion in the curriculum (Department of Education, 2002).