Western Education and Political Domination in Africa: A Study in Critical and Dialogical Pedagogy

Western Education and Political Domination in Africa: A Study in Critical and Dialogical Pedagogy

Western Education and Political Domination in Africa: A Study in Critical and Dialogical Pedagogy

Western Education and Political Domination in Africa: A Study in Critical and Dialogical Pedagogy

Synopsis

In Africa, Western education has been used as a tool for keeping wealth and power in the hands of the educated elite. This book highlights the various processes by which the poor in Africa have been marginalized and disenfranchised, and explains why African economic development is very slow.

Excerpt

For the most part, Western education in most of Africa was provided by European missionaries up to and until the 1970s in many instances. Missionaries envisioned the creation of larger, more powerful African states because Christianity could not flourish in chaotic social, political and economic conditions. They also realized that they would not succeed in their work in Africa without an indigenous corps of educated Africans. Having come to this painful realization, the various missionary bodies began to build schools and to train local staff. Also important in the education of Africans was the high mortality rate among Europeans in Africa as well as the uncertain relationship between Africans and the Europeans. Given these circumstances, the missionaries reasoned that the best way to go about the evangelization of Africans was to train local parishioners as their own "recruiters." Indeed, as early as the nineteenth century, an American evangelist, T. J. Bowen stated that Africans should not only be taught to read the Bible, but they should also be taught to make Bibles themselves.

We desire to establish the Gospel in the hearts and minds and social life of the people, so that truth and righteousness may remain and flourish among them, without the instrumentality of foreign missionaries. This cannot be done without civilization. To establish the Gospel among any people they must have Bibles, and therefore must have the art to make them, or the money to buy them. They . . .

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