“Consequently, the classroom is transformed into a detention facility which subjects a child to mental torture thereby limiting or inhibiting the full development of the child.” – An excerpt from a petition by Kenyan parents Mr. Silus Shikwenke Were and Mr. Onesmus Mboya Orinda to the authorities.
The debate as to whether the system of education practised in African communities carries in itself the prerequisite tools and ambience for the proper enculturation of the African child and the dreams he/she innocently nurtures rages on, and on it must rage till the makers of policies and the proponents in charge of the formulation of regulating laws that affect education within African communities realize the severity of a colonized system of education, given the growth and development of the young and budding; harbingers of Africa’s progress ambition.
Two parents namely; Mr Silus Shikwenke Were and Mr Onesmus Mboya Orinda from Kenya are reported to have challenged the Kenyan authorities via a petition on the restriction imposed on a parent and/or guardian’s decision to not enrol one’s respective ward in either a public or private school so as to allow for homeschooling. These two further argued that the governmental ‘regulative instrument’ in question is detrimental and contradictory to the fundamental rationale for which such regulation was instituted in the first place.
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The African child is entitled to education so as to foster his enculturation and socialization process, and this education in order to achieve its purposed objective must be free from all conditioning cues instituted to mould the child in question into products of an industrialized system. The purpose of education must above every other rationale feed the curious hunger burning in the heart of every child, and empower them to explore their own selves so that they can bring to bear on the progress of the communities within which they find themselves the fruits of their uniqueness, and individualized abilities as well as gifts.
A Colonized Education is one that foremost strips the student bear of his/her cultural endowment to enable itself sole access to the student’s psyche. It is true that the human race is locked in an inescapable garment of mutuality, and that we live in a global village. It is therefore of an unavoidable nature the quality interactions Africa needs to maintain with those around her so as to avail for her inhabitants a well-rounded stage to help hone their experiences in a more meaningfully holistic way. This must however not be to the detriment of the already existing beliefs, customs and indigenous ways of learning they hold sacred.
What is the prognosis that the schools teach what they purport to teach, and by what measure can the effectiveness and practical efficiency of that which is served the African child in the classroom be ascertained? Some meaningful indicators of a Colonized Education’s adverse impact on the health of African communities are; the upsurge in unemployment rates in Africa, inadequate enterprising initiatives and activities amongst the African youth, unquestioning obedience, gross financial gap between the rulers and the ruled, and the near-inability of the African youth to formulate well-thought-of independent opinions in addressing the status quo.
Of the system of education still upheld in most African countries, its Afrocentric roots go only as deep as its location of the African soil and its managerial status as run by the African teacher. Every other facet constituting what Africa and Africans call ‘education’ in modern times is in effect a Colonized Education; one whose core interest is vested in transforming the African child into another ‘machine’ of and for exploitation.
The values around which African empires were built, the core defining values and subject areas they made their focus of study within our indigenous learning centres in ancient times are still of dire relevance to a people whose trajectory has been tampered with. Africa and Africans must persist in building themselves from an Afrocentric epicentre. As a people and a continent, we are still at a building phase and therefore the custodians of our centres of learning must entrust into themselves the resolve to read into the times, so they can equip themselves with the NECESSARY prerequisite tools and salient cognitive armament with which they will further imbue in the children of Africa a decolonized education; an invaluable self-sustaining reformative tool.
Those African parents and/or guardians whose diligence in enculturating their wards to rise above the norm, teaching them in the process to love themselves first and foremost so they can be secured enough to open up to retaining in learning the deep-seated, fully fledged insight offered by their heritage must persist in their noble and constructive mission, for they are the ones who will be hailed by an enlightened posterity as pioneers of our imminent absolute liberation.