History of Education Symposium 2011

History of Education Symposium 2011

ETHICORE News Centre Announcement: 28 July 2011

ETHICORE’s Muhammad Khalid Sayed to present a paper at the History of Education Symposium

On Friday 29 July 2011 ETHICORE’s Muhammad Khalid Sayed will present a paper at the History of Education Symposium held at the Stellenbosch University (SU), Western Cape. The symposium is hosted by SU’s Department of Education Policy Studies and is organized by Prof. Aslam Fataar.

According to Fataar the symposium has the following aims:

  • To invigorate the field of History of Education in the Western Cape
  • To stimulate new lines of historical inquiry in the field of education
  • To establish an academic awareness about the role and importance of contemporary education policy reform
  • To contribute an intellectual platform for the strengthening of history teaching in teacher education programmes and schools

Muhammad Khalid Sayed’s paper is entitled, The Changing Space of South African Madrasahs (Islamic seminaries), 1973-2008. His paper seeks to unearth the historical development of madrasah education in South Africa from 1973 to 2008. Sayed identifies transformations that have taken place in the madrasah education landscape in the last thirty to forty years. He places particular focus on the establishment of the madrasahs, their organizational dynamics, the teaching of Islamic law, and the sectarian contestations. This work may be seen as largely an exercise in contemporary historical excavation.

In addition to determining whether the transformations have changed or sustained the central function of madrasahs as spaces for religious socialization and sectarian identity formation, the paper is an attempt to underline the link between these changes and the broader shifts and developments that have taken place in Muslim communities and the country.

Sayed’s conclusion suggests that while major transformations have taken place at South African madrasahs, the changes – in a broader sense – still fall very much within the central function of madrasahs historically and globally. He argues that there has been no radical shift, or even a conception thereof, beyond often sectarian religious orthodoxy. Sayed asserts that if this shift were to take place, then madrasahs would cease to function.

Other presentations are as follows:

  • Prof. Yusef Waghid, Dean, Faculty of Education, SU: Opening address
  • Prof. Peter Kallaway, University of Cape Town (UCT): Biology Education in British East-Africa in the Inter-War Years 
  • Dr. Azeem Badroodien, SU: ‘From Boys to Men’: Education and Institutional care under apartheid
  • Dr. Sam Govender, University of the Western Cape (UWC): The struggle for curriculum development at the Solomon Mahlangu High School, 1978-1992
  • Prof. Alan Wieder, SU: Extraordinary Professor: The education of Ruth First and Joe Slovo

The symposium takes place between 14:00 and 18:30 in Room 3008, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University. A light supper will be served afterwards.

If you would like to attend, RSVP Larry Morkel: [email protected]


About Muhamma Khalid Sayed:

Muhammad Khalid Sayed, Research Consultant at ETHICORE
Muhammad Khalid Sayed, Research Consultant at ETHICORE

Muhammad Khalid Sayed works as a Research Consultant at ETHICORE Consulting and Advisory Solutions. He is primarily involved with and responsible for providing dedicated support to ETHICORE’s Parliamentary Practice Group, where he actively involved with undertaking parliamnentary, legislative, regulatory and public policy monitoring, research and analysis. As well as the associated parliamentary and governmental outreach, advocacy, lobbying and liaison.

He is a dynamic young researcher, with experience in conducting strategic and policy-relevant research and analyses in a variety of social science fields. These include, contemporary politics, religious values, and education.


He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies and History, a Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Religious Studies, and a Bachelor of Social Science Masters Cum Laude in Religious Studies from the University of Cape Town. His Masters thesis, ‘The Shifting World of South African Madrasahs, 1973-2008’ unearthed a history of Muslim seminaries in the context of political shifts in South Africa. It is a pioneering study of higher-level religious education. He also holds a Diploma in Arabic Language from the University of Damascus in Syria. During the course of his studies, Muhammad Khalid has held various research positions at the University of Cape Town. The most noteworthy of them are:

  • National Research Foundation researcher on Madrasahs (Islamic Seminaries) in Africa in the Department of Historical Studies.
  • Researcher and Administrative Assistant at the Centre for Contemporary Islam in the Department of Religious Studies.


In addition to this, Muhammad Khalid has authored a variety of articles and chapters for academic publications.


For more information and enquiries, contact Muhammad Khalid Sayed:

Tel: +27 (0) 21 422 2975

Mobile: +27 84 729 7229

Email: [email protected]

To download this article and annoucement in PDF format, click here: ETHICORE News Centre Announcement: Stellenbosch History of Education Symposium paper

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