Is Royal our education system educated? | fastlane | April 27, 2018

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Is Royal our education system educated?

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Royal Greatest We have already said a lot about our examination-oriented education system and all the damage it is causing by producing people who can hardly innovate or think independently, people who look at life like a puzzle with a fixed set of predetermined answers beyond which they shouldn’t think.

There should be a pamphlet with questions and answers; the learner’s role is to memorise keenly!

In our ‘banking system of education’, which I wrote about a while ago in reference to what the critical educationist Paulo Freire discourages in his classics Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Pedagogy of Freedom, learners are treated as vessels to be filled with stuff that must be produced when required.

In relation Watch WWE Greatest Royal Rumble 2018 to my earlier views about reading, perhaps the nature of our rote education also explains why we are largely a society of imitators, routines, and limited questioning. Originality in thought is hard to come by in our social debates, problem-solving, and projection for our future.

As the development scholar Ziauddin Sardar has observed, much of what we call future development plans is the far yesterday of Europe and America – very little manifests original development creativity.

Though already functionally misguided, our emphasis on sciences may not yield much in an education environment where what we call science is utter mimicry and recycling of ideas and practices already developed by others.

Mastery of Bunsen burners, Vernier callipers, chemical equations, laws of physics, vectors and algebra is vital in a way. But in an approach that encourages memorisation without adding our own to this body of knowledge, we shall only bring forth followers in science whose role is to master and reproduce what others discover.  

Here, I do not want to go back into arguments such as in Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa and Olufemi Taiwo’s How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa; I am particularly interested in traces of our own hands in our mess.

Because schools have to compete on who fills heads more than the other as assessed in PLE, UCE and UACE, from as low as primary one kids return home with at times up to four different books for homework.

This they are supposed to do together with their parents; and the latter should sign in confirmation that they took part. The often-fronted idea that parents should be part of their children’s learning life is a good one and should be thoughtfully encouraged.

But not when the child returns with four books with stuff ranging from mathematics, English language, religious education, literacy, and so on, that the parent must attend to everyday after their own long day. And some of these things we also don’t know (face in palms)!

There you are; back home with your exhaustion from looking for money to pay the school, and here is the child asking you for the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere! You humbly tell them that you don’t know.

Then another one: “What is a young one of a snake called?” Jesus! Sometimes you give them what you know, and the following day the book is returned with your answers crossed – facing your child as they tell you: “Dad, see what you did to me!”

Is this meant to embarrass us before our children? And what happens to the children of unschooled parents? Teachers, we appreciate the gesture of involving us, but kindly limit it.

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April 27, 2018

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