Unhu/Ubuntu and Education for Reconciliation in Zimbabwe

Oswell Hapanyengwi-Chemhuru, Edward Shizha


The paper examines the concept, strengths and shortcomings, role and implementation of the reconciliation policy as Zimbabwe emerged from periods of conflict crisis soon after independence in the 1980s, and the current crisis in the 2000s and how the policy can be introduced in schools through ‘education for reconciliation’. The authors argue that education can be used to cultivate reconciliation and national healing in the evidently ‘wounded’ people of Zimbabwe who bear scars of colonial times and war, and the post-independence conflicts. Reconciliation through education for “diversity” and tolerance makes a compelling argument in so far as we understand how education shapes culture and cultivates values among a people. Education for reconciliation is perceived as a philosophy that promotes respect for human life and human dignity. The paper concludes that education is an instrument for the inculcation and promotion of the epistemic and ontological principles enshrined in the African philosophy of Ubuntu/unhu.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20355/C5XW2D