Education in Africa
-Rough Road Ahead
By LANE VANDERSLICE
AFRICA is still a dark continent 0.02 per cent finished the 12th London and author of "Africans
intellectually. In spite of class, and Their Schools"
strides that have been made by The bet of the East and Central^" ,
countries that are inevarying de- African territorieas in thisregard IN AFRICA today there are two
grees colonial powers, in spite of was Northern Rhodesia, where 38.9 important types of educational
much education provided by mis- per cent finished the first four facilities.
sionaries, in spite-increasingly- years, 2.89 per cent the second and Thr is
of efforts by the nations and peo- 0.05 per cent the third. There is a widespread network of
Pes of Africa herself, Africa has.. mission schools at all levels from
a long way to go on her educa- Equally big is the problem of the "back' village school up to the
ati on wpath o adapting modern education to the full secondary school and teacher
peoples of Africa, and, conversely, training college.
Education faces two big - al- adapting the people of Africa to ;n tem
most overwhelming - problems in modern education. Presently the most important
Africa. There is a physical and educational factor, however-and
The attempt to equate tribal
economic problem: how t educate . .growing in importance-is the edu-
econmicprolem ho toeduatetraining in Africa with a modern
so many Africans-many for the trainingtin africadth concational system provided by the
first time, school sysem ha lead to con- countries of Africa.
siderable confusion among Euro-#
Figures are available, for ex- peans, and to resentment among Mission schools have come under
ample, for the British colonies in African peoples on two counts: closer government control in the
East and Central Africa in the one the ignoring of the training various sectors of Africa. When
early 1950's. given by them to their children mission schools were originally
In Nyasaland, 10.4 per cent of and the other the reiteration by founded, they were supported by
the children finished the first four educational writers that the tribal contributions from their home
years of studies. Only 1.4 per cent training should have a place in churches, by payments-often in
finished the eighth class and only the school system without taking kind-from the African peoples
any sps to chieve it or to inte- and by the almost universal pay-
Lane Vanderslice is a mei- grate it" ment of fees by the pupils in the
schools. Payments of grants in aid '
ber of The Michigan Daily This quotationis from a paper wereomadePytet ovrnents ofa
editrastf.bMaget II.Rad oia n were made by the governments of
edoria staf- by Margaret h. Read, social an- the territories as they took over Learning To Write
throoloistat he mvesit ofresponsibility for administrative
services. EDUCATIONAL autonomy for and training expatriate teachers
As the size of some of these the native governments has and in giving expert help to ter-
grants in aid have been dependent varied from independent states ritories which ask for its coOpers-
on the standards reached by the like Liberia and Ghana to states ioon. However, policy making lies
missionary schools, based on thelike French West Africa, which with the respective governments
reports of inspectors appointed has close ties to the school system and they are responsible for fi-
and paid by the government, the of metropolitan France nancing education, although the
(Continued from Preceding Page) THERE IS another sense in governments have been able to In British territories, an ad- British do provide some fianacial
e e sExerttcontrol over the standards of vistory committee on education in assistance.
are in almost in reverse, the nor- which Western actions and schools. the colonies assists in recruiting (concluded on Page 11)
poliries in the purely Afiriran=
therly area needing wealth to states can affect the destiny of the
match its political advance and plural societies. a~:..s sw....
the south, political and social ad- Good confident relations be-
vance to match its wealth, the poli- tween the newly independent
cies in the two areas must, to some states such as Ghana and the
degree, interact. West can exercise a moderating
influence upon the enthusiasm
The more the purely African and sometimes the inexperience of
states can advance in education , new leaders. These leaders in their
capacity and responsibility, the Isra influence the asiag Aficsan
'iore likely are the dominant white leadrs further south.
minorities il the south-settlers i T at o s r
the Rhodesias. officials andman; - n olt-ad althosh thtey a
gers isa the Congo-to be inclined
to encourage Africanra i1ancementirs inritisat-ila sisa
in timne. the newly independent states and
the white man's readiness to move
Eutally, the status and recosnisr towards majority rule-which is
tion accorded African leaders in African rule-will depend vitally4
the northerly belt wtill affect the upon the moderation and good
outlook of African leaders in sasne and reslect for enuine civ-
amixedt 'mmsiitis sais as Kin'sat liberties shown in the African
or Soithernht states..i
If, during the t cuca'siaeraise This is an added argument in-
the Westr iii staeresmakingcidentllyfor sustained economic
a real effort to increase the levels and technical assistance.
of African education, the number i we can, both in liBlack Afli-
of Aricanss aoild steadily row a ca and in the multi-racial con-
whom the European settler could mui+s epoentepsiii
haveso elusa noiiioOtiassrtilas aosa tiaassoi a skrtpopens tar possabsta-
haa'e ti ass ir ao l as a ies of expansion and of growth,
pare, . we help to create a climate in
In fact this evolved educationiaa l wich there is elbow morm and in
developmssnt is a most certainly which political and social changts
what the naltsi-racial societies can happen not too catastrophial-
need more than anything le andls sal y
which, in some measureA they can ter al1, i is not in the middle
hardly' auos a.of a depression that nations be-
It would therefore be worth- have at their best. We may think
while looking at the assistance of what happened to Germany af-
the Western governments could ter the great Depression of 1929.
suitably give to education both in Nations can have collective ner-
the Afrecan states and in the mixed vous breakdowns, brought o in
communities as a first priority for' some measure by the collapse of
a creative Western approach. hope: In Africa, too, a good pace
This genuine partnership can- of economic advance, hope for the
naot occur where the gulf created future, and the material evidence
by culture and education is too of growth in all fields, are some of
great to overcome and it must be the essential elements in any last-
a first priority of Western assist i1.atmosphere of political good- AIA-eahe- C at $9.50 $
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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1959