Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Monwabisi K. Ralarala

Monwabisi K. Ralarala

Monwabisi Knowledge Ralarala is an Associate Professor and Director: Fundani Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He also holds the position of Chairperson: African Language Association of South Africa (ALASA). Previous positions include: Director: Language Centre (University of Fort Hare); Institutional Language Coordinator (Cape Peninsula University of Technology); Chairperson of the Western Cape Language Committee; Director of Research and Policy Development (Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities) and lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch’s Departments of African Languages. Apart from being a Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust Alumnus, Monwabisi is the 2017 recipient of the Neville Alexander Award for the Promotion of Multilingualism. Monwabisi holds two PhDs (Universities of Stellenbosch and Free State respectively): in persuasion in African Languages and in Language Practice (emphasis in forensic linguistics). Monwabisi Ralarala is a NRF rated researcher (C2). His research interests are quite diverse but follow three lines: language rights and multilingualism in higher education, forensic linguistics and translation studies. Monwabisi has held visiting scholarships abroad for purposes of teaching and research (Leipzig, Germany and Purdue, United States). He has also published articles and book chapters mainly in forensic linguistics and translation studies. His recent (2017) co-edited book is titled: African Language and Language Practice Research in the 21st Century: Interdisciplinary Themes and Perspectives (CASAS). His current co-edited book is titled: New Frontiers in Forensic Linguistics: Themes and Perspectives in Language and the Law, to be published by African Sun Media, 2019.

Re-imagining knowledge generation and sharing in diverse organisations: A case for South African Higher Education

Higher education is considered one of the major sectors involved in the business of knowledge generation and sharing. As such, universities are knowledge intensive organisations. In fact, their mandate, as well as their primary function, is driven by, amongst others, knowledge generation and sharing. The dilemma that tends to confront societies is a purposeful mission to select judiciously and recognise certain bodies of knowledge and knowledge actors for purposes of knowledge generation and sharing, while excluding others. This is particularly true for South African universities. More importantly, students as knowledge actors, do not seem to feature in knowledge generation endeavours. In the last three years or so, higher education institutions (HEI) have been confronted with students’ demands for a decolonised education. In recent times, the student voices have led to the revival of debates in respect of quality education as well as the transformation of the curriculum.  And the language question has taken a centre stage is such debates, precisely the role of multilingualism/monolingualism in higher education and the losses /gains of multilingual/monolingual policies in a diverse higher education.  Apart from relying on secondary data, this paper draws on Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy which underpins social justice orientations, precisely recognising students’ voices and their linguistic identities.  In so doing, this paper delves into the literature and examines the notions of knowledge generation and sharing in higher education in the pre- and post-apartheid eras. Discourses of knowledge that are supposedly influencing the past and shaping the future of our diverse higher education sector also receive treatment in the discussion. The paper concludes by professing for the decolonisation of knowledge, for knowledge beyond colour and linguist lines.

Key words: Knowledge generation, critical pedagogy, higher education, multilingualism, powerful knowledge, knowledge of the powerful

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