‘Don’t be ashamed to be an African’

2016-04-06 06:00

AS we are about to celebrate 16 June, which commemorates the role played by the youth of 1976 in forcing authorities of the time to bring about transformation in the education system, one would expect a lot of changes to have been made 40 years later, but sadly the education system is still very Eurocentric.

Firstly let’s define Euro-centrism. It is a practice of viewing the world according to European standards and believing that their way of life is universal and their perspective of everything is the norm.

Eurocentric ideologies refused to accept Africans on the same level of humanity as Europeans on the base of their skin colour. These ideologies were constructed to see Africa as the “dark continent” mainly composed of cannibals, savages, inferior and uncivilised primates.

The education system is anti-African­. Much of the history was lost in translation, it is written to glorify Europeans at the expense of Africans. This is not because Africans did not contribute to the knowledge that is present today, but the system deliberately­ excludes the contribution of Africans.

What justice does it do an African child to be knowledgeable about the German Holocaust, but at the same time be oblivious about the history of their own continent?

Why is the Rwandan Genocide, the first and second Congo wars, Africa’s 100-year war not part of the curriculum (before Grade 10), but World War 1 and World War 2 is? Is this because African lives have little value compared to those of Europeans or do the Eurocentric standards justify such.

This education teaches us how to be “better blacks” and by better blacks I mean being as white as we possibly can.

This so-called education leads to civilisation that is a very Eurocentric concept on its own, while the African child is trying to be black they have to be black in relation to whites. So when it comes to the rainbow nation, it’s okay to be black, but in small enough doses.

The African child is bound to lose herself in pursuit of this education that is supposed make her life better, and becomes a person not recognisable to the family (more white) and this is called progress.

The need to call on authorities to transform the content of the education is still there, information on Afro- centrism is available and much research has been done on these topics but it is beyond my imagination why it has not yet been added to the system.

Thomas Sankara

Via email

As we are about to celebrate 16 June, which commemorates the role played by the youth of 1976 in forcing authorities of the time to bring about transformation in the education system, one would expect a lot of changes to have been made 40 years later, but sadly the education system is still very Eurocentric, which It is a practice of viewing the world according to European standards

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