Decolonising the retail business management curriculum in the higher education sector
This article critiques the retail business management curriculum as currently offered in the Higher Education (HE) sector. The study used an exploratory qualitative approach, which involved conducting telephone interviews with a purposively selected sample of 25 participants conversant with the phenomenon studied, retail management practitioners, students and curriculum review experts. This was augmented by secondary literature. The study found out that by and large the retail business management (RBM) curriculum that is currently rolled out in the HE sector is largely based on Western epistemologies. The knowledge economy that is consumed by the recipients of the RBM curriculum in the HE sector is mainly from American and European academics and that is at the expense of the local or indigenous knowledge. It was found out, that the majority of the curriculum recipients do not identify with the current curriculum because it is divorced from their lived experiences that include their culture in particular their languages, beliefs and values. The study avers that indigenous knowledge systems were left out in the process of the RBM curriculum development and that partly explains its alienation from the lived realities of the local students and academic staff. The study therefore recommends that the current RBM curriculum needs to be effectively decolonised and the starting point for this decolonisation process is the involvement of all stakeholders in the curriculum development process. Secondly, the use of diverse educators to reflect the country’s racial mix is recommended. The study also recommends the convening of all stakeholder curriculum review engagements, the use of a local knowledge economy and local languages in teaching and learning of the RBM curriculum.
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