Progress of an African student during COVID-19 and beyond in higher education: Re-colonisation of decolonisation?




COVID-19, Decolonisation, Higher education, Re-colonisation, Umuntu Akalahlwa pedagogy, Rural context


Following the closure of educational institutions, after the outbreak of COVID-19 in December 2019, even though grossly unprepared, universities sent their students home and adopted the online teaching approach to continue with the education of their students. However, little was done to assist most African students who were living in the rural context and trying to shake off the constraints of colonisation. Using the decolonisation lens, this qualitative case study used the lecturers’ personal experiences and observations from the South African and Zimbabwean higher education context to report on the educational progress of the African student during COVID-19. Discussions of the two lecturers who communicated via WhatsApp, telephone and email were thematically analysed to generate data. Findings suggest that while the online teaching was regarded as the only way forward in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had remnants of colonialism that hampered the progress of the African student; thereby derailing the decolonisation project. The study suggests the employment of Umuntu Akalahlwa pedagogy as it safeguards humanisation of all students to avert the re-colonisation of the decolonised. The rationale for this article is thus to contribute towards the need for Umuntu Akalahlwa pedagogy in higher education given the background of COVID-19 and the socio-economic status of the African student.


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Author Biography

Dr M.C. Kgari-Masondo, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Senior Lecturer, Economic History and Development



How to Cite

Kgari-Masondo, M. C., & Chimbunde, P. (2021). Progress of an African student during COVID-19 and beyond in higher education: Re-colonisation of decolonisation?. Perspectives in Education, 39(1), 323-339.