Original Research

‘Clutch-the-ear’ and get enrolled: The antagonistic intrusion of indigenous knowledge systems to the detriment of contemporary educational developments

Felistas R. Zimano, Matsaure Keresencia, Alouis Chilunjika
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 8, No 1 | a557 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v8i1.557 | © 2018 Felistas R. Zimano, Matsaure Keresencia, Alouis Chilunjika | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 June 2017 | Published: 25 September 2018

About the author(s)

Felistas R. Zimano, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe
Matsaure Keresencia, Mufakose Mhuriimwe Secondary School, Zimbabwe
Alouis Chilunjika, Department of Politics and Public Management, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe

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Background: The use of non-conventional methods of measurement is a long-established practice in most societies.

Aim: To investigate the effectiveness of non-conventional methods of measurement in the placement of children in schools in general and the ‘clutch-the-ear’ and get enrolled age measurement practice in particular. To expose the shortfalls of a classroom setup in which age-for-grade enrolment is distorted.

Setting: Zimbabwe.

Methods: Literature review and researchers experiences.

Results: The use of non-conventional methods has both pros and cons. The practice can be hailed for showing the indigenous knowledge systems as giving, to an extent, transparent and accurate maturity prediction ways that require preservation. However, it works perfectly for people of average height while prejudicing the outliers. The immediate conspicuous consequence is the late enrolment of the affected. In the case of the ‘clutch-the-ear’ and get enrolled measure, findings are discussed below.

Conclusion: The use of non-conventional methods of age measurement unobtrusively upsets education quality through facilitating stereotyping, discrimination and age-heterogeneous classes. Researchers propose a ‘backward-integration-enrolment’ strategy; getting into communities to enrol not to wait for the community to bring children to school.


Educational policy; literacy; development; enrolment strategy; Indigenous Knowledge Systems


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