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University of South Africa (2020)

A model for the digital preservation of indigenous knowledge on medicinal plants in Namibia via an e-learning platform

Amunkete, Katazo Natasha

Titre : A model for the digital preservation of indigenous knowledge on medicinal plants in Namibia via an e-learning platform

Auteur : Amunkete, Katazo Natasha

Université de soutenance : University of South Africa

Grade : Master of Science M.Sc. (Computing) 2020

Résumé
The number of studies focused on the digital preservation of indigenous knowledge has been growing steadily over the years. Despite the growth in this area of research, there is still a lack of information technology tools that preserve and disseminate indigenous knowledge. Indigenous knowledge has been highlighted as an area that can advance sustainable development, and its preservation is therefore of the utmost importance. Indigenous knowledge is mostly present within older generations, and if it is not preserved, this knowledge will die with its custodians. African communities rely heavily on indigenous medicine. A digital platform needs to be explored that can preserve practices relating to these medicines for future generations. Since indigenous knowledge is dynamic and is constantly evolving, there is a need to explore a digital tool that can highlight this dynamic nature. Current methods of preserving indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants were found to be less than effective and marred by constraints such as space and time. The main objective of this study was therefore to develop a model that could be used to guide the design of a new e-learning system aimed at facilitating the preservation of indigenous knowledge of Namibia’s medicinal plants. In this study, e-learning technology was used to determine the requirements for presenting indigenous knowledge of Namibia’s medicinal plants in such a way as to ensure that individuals can internalise and preserve this knowledge. An interpretivist qualitative approach was followed. Data was collected by conducting a literature review and carrying out a survey. A prototype e-learning system was developed and evaluated based on the collected data. It was found that preserving indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants through e-learning would require, among other things, engagement with the relevant knowledge custodians, leveraging multimedia, and offering content in indigenous languages.

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