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Professor Pityana with student researchers of
Race, Space and the City, Ms Londiwe Sokhabase
and Ms Nompumelelo Kubheka.

The Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity (ccrri) recently hosted its second gathering with teachers and UKZN students to discuss how the now compulsory Biko segment is taught in high schools and how students, through their research, can assist with the development of pedagogical tools in schools and rural communities.

Speaking at the event were UKZN’s Professor Mabogo More and Human Rights Lawyer and Theologian, Professor Barney Pityana, who both told of their respective histories with the South African Students Association (SASO) and their interaction with Steve Biko.

High school teachers present at the event debated with the speakers about the best way to move forward with the Biko Education Project introduced by the ccrri at their schools.

Pityana, one of the founding members of SASO, also spent time talking to students who are active in research groups at the Centre and further discussed matters of relevance to their particular research and dissertations in Architecture.

Members of the xenophobia research group and the Biko Education research group were also given the opportunity to discuss with Pityana and More about how Biko was relevant to their research work.

Speaking about the Biko Education Project, ccrri Director Professor Rozena Maart, noted: ‘The objective is to advance African scholarship by looking at fundamental issues such as mind, body, language, consciousness, self-determination and agency vis-a-vis the work of Steve Biko.’

Maart said while the focus of the Biko Education Project was to ensure that all aspects of Biko’s life history were reflected, there were fundamental concepts and ideas that needed to be disseminated among high school students to ensure the material taught at school offered engagement and self-reflection whilst also facilitating empowerment.

A series of workshops and talks are planned with schools and rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal in the second semester.