Local knowledge refers to knowledge and expertise which originate from local and indigenous cultures that have developed over time. Its practices have been absorbed naturally and effortlessly into the local communities. The study on Local Knowledge is aimed at enabling social transformation through a paradigm shift that forefronts local epistemology.
Background of Local Knowledge Study Group in USM
Local Knowledge or Local Wisdom was the brainchild of Professor Tan Sri. Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak and Emeritus Professor Dr. Muhammad Haji Salleh, National Laureate. The Local Knowledge Study Group (LKSG) was established in 2010 on a voluntary basis, whereby the Student Advisory and Development Unit (U3P) of the Student Development Affairs (HEPP) Department was appointed as the Secretariat and centered at H24, Cahaya.
By the end of 2011, Professor Dr. Badaruddin Mohamed, Chairman of the Local Knowledge Group had established a Repository Centre for Local Knowledge at B-10 Building, USM, with Associate Professor Saad Othman as its coordinator. The Repository Centre was set up to document research, information and data, as well as collect working papers pertaining to Local Knowledge for reference and research/teaching-learning purposes.
In early 2016, The Local Knowledge Secretariat relocated to Level 3 of the Toray – USM Building. Known as the Toray USM Knowledge Transfer Centre, this building was originally established to centralize all research programs/projects related to preserving and transferring Local Knowledge under one roof.
Through the years, LKSG has organized many knowledge sharing activities with the stakeholders namely the community of practitioners, students and agencies that share similar aims at studying the Sustainable values in Local Wisdom and Indigenous Science. Through the LRGS research program, LKSG has succeeded in grooming future talents through Master’s and PhD multidisciplinary research related to different aspects of local wisdom.
Since 2011, the Local Knowledge Study Group (LKSG) has successfully organized a variety of events such as Regional Dialogues, Seminars and Conferences. The events have usually been on a collaborative basis between LKSG and various partners, such as Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Kuching Sarawak, Institut Aminuddin Baki Cawangan Kuching Sarawak, Sarawak Convention Bureau, Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching Sarawak, Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Indonesia, Universitas Langlangbuana (UNLA), Indonesia, Universitas Pasundan (UNPAS), Indonesia, Yayasan Warisan Johor, Kadazandusun Culture Association (KDCA), Prince of Songkhla University (PSU), Thailand, Jabatan Muzium Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. Papers presented at the LKSG conferences are published in proceedings, and research books under Penerbit USM, whilst selected papers are published in indexed journals.