Young dean to tackle social issues
AS THE youngest dean in the country, Professor Thabo Msibi, 34, dean and head of the school of education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is committed to transformation and youth empowerment.
According to UKZN, Msibi has “a profound focus on understanding how marginalisation, prejudice and discrimination impact people’s construction of their identities and experiences in institutions”.
“Through evaluating the nature of sexuality in relation to schooling, Msibi’s work more broadly tackles social justice issues in the context of curriculum development and implementation.
“His path into academia was never planned. He walked into it because of, opportunity, experiences and the circumstances he found himself in. Starting as a tutor while pursuing his honours, Msibi was offered a bursary to study overseas,” his mentor Chrisly Hampson, former head of the UKZN school of education, said.
Armed with a bachelor of education degree (UKZN), a bachelor of education honours (UKZN), a master of education from Columbia University and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, Msibi aims to create social cohesion.
“I am heavily invested in a project of unlearning, a project of what Bel Hocks calls transgression where you attempt to try to bring about particular conscientisation of people,” he said.
Msibi dismissses the notion of education as a mutual entity.
“Education is political, everything you do within education is informed by our history. It is informed by our experiences. When you come into a space, we come from all these diverse experiences and the aim is to make productive sense of this difference and try to create a new platform to understand each other more and to appreciate each other more,” he said.
He has initiated an organisation called the Community Development Association which undertakes work on a voluntary basis in disadvantaged schools and is driven by his students at UKZN’s Edgewood campus. – 701198
YOUNG AND INFORMED: Professor Thabo Msibi.