Integrating African Indigenous Knowledge in Kenya’s Formal Education System: The Potential for Sustainable Development

  • Jenipher Owuor University of British Columbia


The current paradigm shift toward promoting education for sustainable development gravitates toward alternative approaches to school curricula in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is argued that solutions to problems that currently plague the continent and with reference to the Kenyan context must proceed from understanding of local capacities such as the role of indigenous knowledge in promoting sustainable development. This can be achieved by integrating indigenous knowledge into the formal education system to address some of the knowledge deficiencies for development that is currently formulated from the western perspective. This approach challenges the dominance of western knowledge in Kenya’s school system that makes education disembodied from context. The purpose of this paper is to explore the meaning of indigenous knowledge, provide rationale for valuing indigenous knowledge in formal school system, examine the government’s efforts to indigenise curricula, and dilemmas to integrating indigenous knowledge in formal education with implications to teacher education programs.