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New ‘cadre-ship’ will find space for progressive voices in academia

2017-04-20 06:20

A programme aimed at introducing progressive thinking in the academic space was launched last night by the Young Communist League South Africa.

The league launched the Progressive Black Academic Programme, which aims to “encourage support and development of progressive academics in our country”, at the University of the Witswatersrand.

The league’s national secretary, Mluleki Dlelanga, said they hoped to partner with academic institutions to create collaboration and alliances on the programme.

The programme is also a response to a call to “deepen youth mobilisation for socialism” said Dlelanga.

He added that South Africa was not producing enough progressive academics.

He said this programme would be presented to institutions of higher learning to create forums that will be an anchor point for progressive ideas.

“We need a cadre-ship that is going to advance into higher degrees that can then be absorbed into academia so that you find space for progressive voices”, said Tshepo Mukoka, lecture of economics and business sciences at Wits.

Mukoka said there were few academics who did not agree with the current status quo in academia.

“I think it does a big disservice to the variety of ideas that our society and young people need to interact with so that we have different variations of appreciating how to understand a problem and how to solve it”.

Quite passionate about a decolonised and Afrocentric academic curriculum, Mukoka said in his advanced micro economics course he introduced competing schools of thought in understanding problems in the classroom.

“The delivery [of a curriculum] can be conservative in a way that is very much loaded with cultural and racial bias or undertones” said Mukoka. “Development of delivery and the content itself towards a more progressive and inclusive slant would do us good in this country”.

Dlelanga said representatives of the communist youth league would launch this programme in all the provinces of the country.

“This will also be an effort to engage academics in other provinces as part of realising what the programme wants to achieve.”

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August 13 2017