This article examines ways in which some of the most marginalized and disadvantaged African communities and groups are re-defining education through strategies aimed at recognition of rights and social justice. It draws on Fraser's approach to social justice and examines nature of indigenous peoples’ expectations of and demands for education through the lenses of distribution, recognition and participation. Over the past ten years, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has adopted legislation protecting the rights of indigenous peoples in African countries while indigenous communities have been shaping new political and educational spaces for their participation and decision making about their development and their education. Taking the example of the East African pastoralists and the Maasai of Ngorongoro District in Tanzania, it looks at indigenous peoples' initiatives to define and achieve a qualitative education which is relevant and meaningful for their lives today. It concludes with a discussion of the potential for the indigenous movement in Africa to 'reframe' education for the benefit of not only indigenous communities but for all learners.
This paper was first presented at the 10th UKFIET International Conference, University of Oxford,15-17 September 2009. ISBN: 978-1-906675-23-3, 20 pp.