Speaker: Olga Bialostocka, PhD
Research Specialist, Sustainable Development, AISA
Date: Tuesday, 21 October Time: 11:00 – 13:00
Venue: Forum 150, HSRC Building
The relationship between education and culture was acknowledged in 1948 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as later, in 1989, in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet, the close relationship between culture and development has been emphasized by the policy makers only in the last decade, when it was recognized that culture was not secondary to sustainable development, but constituted a crucial element of the latter.
Culture, as a process, is subject to change. It does not exist in a vacuum but matures in relationship to others. The challenge of multicultural societies lies in embracing and respecting cultural differences, while in the same time promoting shared values that develop on the intersections of the varied identities. However, according to the essentialist view of culture, change represents a threat to one’s identity. Hence, such an approach is conducive to tensions and conflicts between different cultural groups who base their knowledge of others on preconceptions and often harmful stereotypes.
Guided by the newest development agenda, the presentation will give an insight into how the education system in Namibia responds to the cultural pluralism of the country. It will demonstrate that high level of cultural competence is needed to address the challenges of cultural pluralism in a sensitive, non-essentialist way in order to avoid the spread of cultural clichés and the creation of cultural anxiety.