Dr. Wandia Njoya
Wandia Njoya is an associate professor of literature and former head of the Department of Language and Performing Arts at Daystar University in Kenya. She began her academic career as a scholar of African literature in French, but developed an interest in education.
She initially published her pieces on education on her blog, which went on to win three consecutive annual awards for the best blog on social issues and active citizenship. In addition to her work on popular media, she has published peer reviewed journal articles and academic book chapters on the intersection between arts, humanities, religion and education policy. In April 2022, she was a co-convener of the Education Alibi conference held at the University of Bayreuth.
Prof Wandia is interested in the anthropology of education policy and how different education policies and lived experience of education professionals in Kenya. She is currently doing research for a monograph on the education experience in post-independent Kenya.
- (Forthcoming) “Is focus on the development of the girl child counterproductive? No.” Debating African Issues: Conversations Under the Palaver Tree, edited by William G Moseley and Kefa Otiso, Routledge.
- “The Church Will Provide: The Church and Public Education in Kenya.” The Post COVID-19 Church: Human Security, the Church, and Society in Kenya, edited by Martin Munyao, Joseph Muutuki, Patrick Musembi, and Daniel Kaunga, Lexington Books, 2022, pp. 163-180.
- Interview: Curriculum Reforms in Kenya. Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies, vol. 40, no. 2, 2018, pp. 145-152.
- “’Just Act, Don’t Think!’ Religion, Education and Disciplinary Decadence.” Atlantic Journal of Communication, vol. 19, no. 1, 2011, pp. 43-53.
- “Filigrees of Knowledge.” African Futures: Thinking about the Future in Word and Image, edited by Lien Heindereich-Seleme and Sean O’Toole, Keber, 2016, pp. 309-314.
During the fellowship at the Africa Multiple Cluster Center, Prof Wandia will collaborate with scholars and developing new ways of conceiving and engaging with experiences of education in Kenya and other comparable contexts. She will be co-editing a collection of articles on the subject of “The Education Alibi,” which comprises of chapters presented by different scholars who attended “The Education Alibi” conference in Bayreuth in April 2022. The edited volume will present the different agendas and experiences that are often camouflaged behind education in Africa.
In her individual capacity, she will write a manuscript for a monograph on education, partly based on her experience as a Kenyan woman academic head of an arts department. Her monograph seeks to analyze the underlying dynamics of globalism and colonialism in the academy and in the Kenyan education system as a whole. It will also include her experience as a public voice on education reforms in Kenya.
She also hopes to participate with fellow scholars in creating a platform on which Kenyan and international scholars from different disciplines can gather together to reflect on new perspectives on education. From such a platform, she hopes that new conversations on education in Kenya will be generated and ultimately disseminated to spaces where the Kenyan public, educators, students can access them. She hopes to promote the use of story-telling as a technique to recount experiences of education and reflect on education in Kenya.