International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Dimensioning Indigenous African Educational System: A Critical Theory Divide Discourse
Mark Bolak Funteh

The process of traditional education in Africa was intimately integrated with the social, cultural, artistic, religious and recreational life of the people. That is, schooling and education, or the learning of skills, societal values and norms were hardly separated from other spheres of life. The education of the African child, like elsewhere, started at birth through adulthood, with befitting standards required for the survival of the society. Unfortunately, Eurocentrists have doubts about the authenticity of traditional African education. They claim Africa, prior to the introduction of colonial school systems never had and could not talk of education in the real sense of the word due to the absence of what they termed “prerequisites to genuine educational acquisition,” but knowledge in its simplest form, informality. The most important principle of traditional African education often described as primitive cannot lead a concrete framework of the theories and philosophy, one of several methods can rational education. This opinion, which has disoriented many to view African education as informal, has been brought to book by the some Afrocentrist mind-sets. This paper, which falls in the frame of the latter thought, explores the theoretical debates on the issue. Engaging this “informal acuity,” as a blinded cultural paradigmic estimation by Europeans against the reliable perceptional value and application of the formal facet of the indigenous African educational system, the article sustains with concrete examples that education existed in Africa before Islamic or Western schooling. In fact, the misconception about this pre-colonial system gained grounds since indigenous African theoretical and philosophical discussions have not been fully Afrocentric. How this education should work to resurrect itself from invisibility in the history of education, there is this need for a critical corrective theory about African education.

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