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Keletso Thobega

“I am a little bit of everything all rolled into one.I am a lover,I am a child, I am a mother,I am a sinner, I am a saint. I do not feel ashamed.I am your hell, I am your dream, I am nothing in between.”

“I am the past you know nothing bout. The future you cannot ignore.”

Changing Education

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For a long time, Africa fought “the enemy” with all its might. Unfortunately, it didn’t invest in education and refinery factories for its natural resources hence the poverty of food and knowledge we are in. This has made transition to a new Africa quite challenging. In the midst of this, Europeans took from Africans, ideas and resources of value (to package/refine and sell them back to Africans). Africans simply choose to be consumers or gain from their own people’s weaknesses, limiting pro-activity and questioning wisdom. There was no preparation for power, as we were used to being controlled and subordinate. We are paying much for this, and realizing that we got a raw deal.

The current education system is breeding ground for false perceptions that do not magnify the realities of the world. Education has been the same formality for a long time, dealing with percentages and non-existent ideas. Africans haven’t taken the initiative to fit into the African dream. Education is only valuable if it serves the learner positively, developing her/him as an individual who’ll become an enterprising adult.

Africans can establish their own education system, which will impart to students, relevant information in a setting that is conducive to their needs.
For some sinister reason, Africa is linked with poor, cheap, useless, why? Look at the schools in ‘African’ residential areas. They are government-funded buildings with broken class windows, few books to no library and dusty playgrounds. They scream, “have not” from a distance and this is affirmed in the unkempt environment students are housed in. Instead of trying to prove and statement our capabilities, it would be better to act it out.

I have observed that what many African children bring forth is usually stagnant and non-inspirational. Any greatness they have is suppressed, for many Africans don’t think goodness is part of them. An average African child is exposed prematurely to street gossip, witchcraft tales and other nonsensical. Our fellow Asians and Europeans on the other hand have, from an early age, a grasp of geography, technology and economic matters. All groups are equally intelligent. The difference is the way they are raised, socialized and integrated into society. What solid lessons and legacies are left for African children? Yes, the stories of struggle are interesting but we need something beyond that, to equip us to make a mark. If we don’t acknowledge the role of education in transforming ourselves, we are likely to return to the servitude status Africans are synonymous with.

A better education is one where Africans are exposed to technology and basic general knowledge from a young age, taught the about their culture and history. Self-assertiveness, confidence and discipline must also be instilled. This way, natural flair is polished and Africans will have groundwork to elevate themselves and integrate healthily into society without losing their identity.

African is a unique continent with it’s own history. It is possible to realise the dream that has sat like a heavy pumpkin in great minds. These changes to education aren’t far-fetched. Education isn’t just about a pencil case, neat books, uniforms and buildings with ‘sirs’ and ‘madams’ roaming about. It has to be a place for one to develop socially, intellectually and mentally, building a character to carry skills that one learns.

The system of cramming and pursuing percentage passes at the expense of actively learning is continuously costing us. We can carry pieces of paper that say we are intelligent (certificates), but lack the ability to navigate through life. Are you aware how many Africans struggle to make a simple decision? Can’t absorb basic human principles because of the effects of oppression? Education isn’t about getting through school but what you can do with what you have learnt. Education must be viewed holistically, as a piece that fits into a large life puzzle. Everything was created out of an identified need and manifested from a thought shared.

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