The Regional Inspector for Training at the South West Regional Delegation of Employment and Vocational Training, Mr. Orock Thomas, says the growth and promotion of indigenous knowledge is very crucial in the alleviation of poverty in Cameroon.
According to him, the use of indigenous knowledge can be used in promoting development in poor rural communities in many parts of Cameroon. “This implies that skills that comes from within locals in the communities themselves, having confidence in and deploying indigenous knowledge, among other things, bring about economic and social progress.”
Going by the pedagouge, indigenous knowledge and skills are acquired within the local community, non-formal sector, but which is or ar very helpful to the society.
To him, indigeneous knowledge should be incorporated in the formal eductional system in Cameroon because such skills cannot be taught in formal setting.
“Indigenous knowledge may be integrated into education, which will help to sustain indigenous knowledge and societies to all. It will also encourage teachers and students to enhance respect for local culture, its wisdom and ethics and provides ways of teaching and learning locally relevant knowledge and skills”Mr. Orock asserted.
The use of indigenous knowledge has been relegated to the background as many people view formal education as the best practice of knowledge accusation. Thus, the opportunities surrounding initiatives to bring together indigenous knowledge systems as a means to allevate poverty is of necessity to our society.
This comes at a time when the opening of educatonal trainining institutions are on the increase, but little or no attention given to developing local indigenous skills.
“In life, everything pays and everyone contributes to the development of the society either through formal or informal sector. We started from indigenous knowledge and we cannot drift away from our history thus, we cannot achieve vision 2035 without making full use of indigenous knowledges,” the pedagouge maintained.
Indigenous knowledge is also very pivotal in empowering local communities and supporting the notion of ‘African renaissance’. This is reinforced by the contemporary trend of promoting development and environmental programmes at the local level by governments, NGOs and some development agencies.
Indigenous people have a broad knowledge of how to live sustainably. However, formal education systems have disrupted the practical everyday life aspects of indigenous knowledge and ways of learning, replacing them with abstract knowledge and academic ways of learning.
Today, there is a grave risk that most indigenous knowledge is being lost and, along with it, valuable knowledge about ways of living sustainably.
The Regional Inspector recommends that there should be increasing institutionalisation of indigenous knowledge through conferences, development plans and a broad acceptance by the development community of its assumed inherent value as part of a shift in addressing the direct concerns of the poor.