Developmental issues facing the San people of Namibia: Road to de-marginalization in formal education

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University of Namibia Press
INTRODUCTION: As for other indigenous people in the world, the living standards of the San in Namibia have drawn attention as they have been viewed as contravening basic human rights. Since its independence from apartheid South Africa, the Namibian Government, as a member of the United Nations (UN), has embarked upon various projects and interventions in order to secure the rights of their indigenous communities, including those of the San. One of the most progressive conventions of the UN, the Salamanca Statement of 1994 on inclusive education (UNESCO, 1994), promulgates that schooling should cater for all children regardless of their differences or difficulties and serves as a driver towards such efforts. It is worth noting that this global educational transformation came at a time when Namibia was in its fourth year of independence from apartheid South Africa, and was attempting to deconstruct and redress the fragmented education system that it had inherited. It was an education that separated learners depending on their race, gender, ethnicity and language, and if they had a disability (MEC, 1993). It is through this historical backdrop that the San face current challenges as agents in an inclusive space. The educational experiences of indigenous San children in Namibia reflect discrimination, isolation and a compromised quality of education, and their identity and their indigenous knowledge is not fully embraced in the broader education system. As a result many of them fall through the safety net of this all-embracing educational philosophy. It is for this reason that San children have become a heightened concern and responsibility for the education authority in Namibia.
Development, San people, de-marginalisation, Formal education
Brown, A., & Haihambo, C.K. (2015). Developmental issues facing the San people of Namibia: Road to de-marginalization in formal education. In K.C. Chinsembu, A. Cheikhyoussef, & D, Mumbengegwi (Eds.), Indigenous Knowledge of Namibia (pp. 311-330). Windhoek: UNAM Press.