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Malcolm X, the African Diaspora and Education

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Introduction

Malcolm X, the African Diaspora and Education "Education is the passport to our future," Malcolm X reverberated to the world that statement. Throughout centuries and throughout civilisations we have seen education being implemented in its different manifestations respective of those civilisations' cultural and social needs. As a by-product, the children who came out of those systems drove their cultural and social heritage forward with considerable zeal that led to the perpetuation of those civilisations. When one observes the educational institutions of the Ancient Greeks, one is confronted with the type of education that reflected the needs of that society that venerated reason and contemplative thought, which was the basis for its governments. In the Great Civilisations of West Africa, The Songhay in particular, the educational systems reflected those societies need of, first and foremost, to inculcate in its generations the need for moral excellence which was believed to be an important ingredient in a just and harmonious social environment. All of the civilisations that existed since the dawn of time had this important element governing the scheme of things- an education for its youth that imbues that society's traditions and values and hence carrying those elements forward to their future generations. When the colonialists started to invade our territories the first thing they did was to dismantle our educational institutions and replace them with their own. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, for we as a nation to build a plausible and well fortified foundation for the youth there needed to be a complete re-evaluation and hence reformation of the educational system and its existing institutions. With President's Nyerere's deep admiration and yearning of implementing socialism, he theorised an educational system which would compliment his much craved dream. Whether it worked or not is a matter of differing opinions. However, with the collapse of socialism and the government's decision to apt for a more capitalist-inclined economic system in the late 1908s, meant a need for a complete change of ideological necessities that would concurrently complement the new system. As a result, the education that preached 'Ujamaa na Kujitegemea' was surplus to requirements. Contemporary system of education was born. Whether this was done consciously or subconsciously again is of differing opinions. Thus I come to the present. As sad, painful and distraughtful it is to admit we have regressed to the colonialists system of education but in a much disguised form with all its values and worldview being instilled in the minds of the youth. The consequences of capitalism haunt us with this harsh reality. Imperialism lingers where it often has been in a kind of general cultural sphere as well as its specific political, ideological, economic and social practices. ...read more.

Conclusion

The philosopher Alfred Whitehead defined education as the transmission of culture to enable individuals to attain a quality of life which is always beyond the mere facts of life. Contemporary education in our country has evolved to become a mere inculcation of facts, figures and information but makes no effort in trying to make those in education to become better and liberated human beings. This should be the purpose of education. Improving one's understanding of reality and existence as it truly is. It should be about understanding our true nature as human beings. Young men and women should be encouraged to read which has now become an antithesis as to what young mean and women are all about. Television is revered while reading is frowned upon. We need to ask ourselves where are we going with this type of materialistic, mechanistic and consumerist society. Young men and women are improving their standards in educational achievement yet there are more ignorant and stupid than the graduates ten years ago. If we are going to take the western archetypes and models of reality, we have to also realise that when they fall down the cliff, we will go down with them unless we change to our own reality which produced great people like Othman Dan Fodio (the great leader of the Sokoto empire) and his contemporaries. The choice is our own. Let's make the right one. ...read more.

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