Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Introduction of Political Education for the Propagation of Democracy in Africa: The Perspective of African Academics, Part II

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Introduction of Political Education for the Propagation of Democracy in Africa: The Perspective of African Academics, Part II

Article excerpt

Introduction

Jacquelyn Jackson, an American politician on 29 September 2010 made it clear during a gathering that "... education must remain the basis of Democracy and not a political football" (http://jaibihar.com/voter-awareness-will-push-politicians-to-act-experts-say/6106/). Unfortunately, most countries around the world make education a political football instead of the basis of Democracy. In Arizona Illustrated Al Melvin, another American stated "I am not here to advocate for one or the other; I am here to advocate for extracting education from the maw of electoral politics. When did the education of our children--and both sides must admit that today's children are tomorrow's workforce, voters, citizenry--become the fodder for political posturing and blah, blah, blahing, and when will we pull our heads out of the sand and begin to truly invest in the future of this state?" (http://www.votesmart.org/npat_about.php). As Derek Bok quoted by Harber, (1987) explains that education "...is a whole lot cheaper than ignorance. This is our real choice. Invest in education today or larger prisons tomorrow". It is a truism that universal education has forever been the basis for the freedoms countries are built upon. The American president Thomas Jefferson put it clearly in the following excerpt: "I think by far the most important bill in our whole code, is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness. The tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance." (Thomas Jefferson to George Wythe, 1786, ME 5:396).

Western World Political Democracy: Successfully Thrived

Who can argue with the ideal espoused above? President Jefferson focuses on two essential points for education today that is for education in the future and for education always to be Harber, C. (1987). essential for the "diffusion of knowledge" among every African; although it will cost money to support. Therefore, it is necessary that there is a diffusion of knowledge in political education to make sure public schools are adequately funded, well stocked with professionally trained and qualified teachers as well as with relevant and applicable resources. Moreover, in terms of infrastructure, another way is to make democratic political education progressive and productive in an African democratic political environment.

U.S. President Nixon in 1960 made this point and illustrated it with the following statement, "The target of American education must be that every individual has the opportunity and the facilities to develop to the highest power the full range of his inherent ability. There must be no arbitrary barriers--neither racial nor economics. On such a scale, the excellent lathe operator and the excellent biochemist are not only equal as Americans but also equally valuable members of our Nation's pool of skilled work force. And this, in a free society, is as it should be. There must be no arbitrary barriers--neither racial nor economics" (Harber,. 1987).

What is going on in Africa in terms of democratic political education provision is the negative politicization of education, especially in Africa if it comes to the ideological bases and conditions of service for teachers. This is clearly expressed by a commentator (No author) in the South African newspaper (Sowetan 10th April 1994) during the South African democratic political dawn in 1994 in this excerpt: "Here is what I do not understand. Why a vote for education is not considered a vote for business?" He is of the view that every cent invested in education today is an investment in our workforce of tomorrow and for this reason every cent must be considered in terms of effective and efficient education provision. According to this commentator if we bleed education provision today, we are going to have workers who cannot read, without critical thinking skills, without the knowledge that is critical to every business person who is trying to make their business a success. …

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