Examining How the African Educational System Was Destroyed Under European Colonialism

Examining How the African Educational System Was Destroyed Under European Colonialism

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Before the coming of the Europeans to Africa, the African folks had a system

created in which to educate their youths. The Africans had an oral tradition of education

to pass down their cultural values. Through a series of rites of passage these children

were taught the various tribal laws and customs and also an assorted range of skills

needed to survive in pre-colonial society. These children were taught through oral

literature, consisting of myths and fables, the traditions of their culture. The student

would learn the basic cultural values through these stories. Sugarcane Alley, we see

Monsieur Meduse educating Hassan on their historical background through idioms,

proverbs, and oral literature explaining to him the importance of morality. For example,

he told Hassan that if he steps on the ant that will be the end of it. He added by saying:

"Man knows how to destroy life but doesn't know how to create it.

We must allow nature to handle its affairs."

This shows us how the educational system in Africa was destroyed and replaced with a

foreign one. It is like putting a square peg in a round hole it doesn't fit. With this, it is

clearly seen that Africans should have been left alone to handle issues and events on

their own without any intrusion. This is just one of the more extreme examples of

complexity of the systems of education which were already in place before the

influence of the Europeans. However, the fact still remains that there was a system

of education in Africa before the Europeans arrived.

Traditional African education filled a similar purpose to that of the European

system of education and most systems of education. Education in general kn...

... middle of paper ...

...and placed them in between two worlds, neither of which would ever be successful.

While society generally regards education to be an unconditionally beneficial

commodity, in the case of Africa during the colonial regime, this was not the case.

Western education for the Africans was not something improved their standard of living;

instead it created the demise of their traditional culture and a rift between groups of

Africans; the educated and the uneducated. The Africans already had their own system of

education which was disregarded by the Europeans, in that manner they could create a

system of education that allowed for the exploitation of Africans for colonial benefit.

Education in Africa destroyed the world the Africans were familiar with and placed them

into another world, in which the traditional culture found great discomfort.

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