Is Africentric Education Necessary?

The majority of Africans all over the world are being taught in Eurocentric schools. They are taught core subjects: Maths, English, Science and additional subjects like History, Geography, Music and an European Language. These subjects on their own are not necessarily a bad thing but some may argue that the content and delivery does not equip an African child for adulthood.

The philosophy of Afrocentric curriculum gets it basis from the seven principles of Kwanzaa, also known as the Nguzo Saba. These ideologies are the foundation for students’academic, social, and moral development. The principles include kujichagulia (self- determination), umoja (unity), nia (purpose), imani (faith), ujamaa (cooperative economics), kuumba (creativity), and ujima (collective work and responsibility). The Nguzo Saba provides the standard for the Afrocentric teaching and learning paradigm (Covington-Clarkson & Johnstone, 2011), and has proven to work to promote both academic achievement and social competence in Black children.

 

And while other ethnic groups have not received such criticism, for example Catholics engage in Catholic-centred education, and Jewish-centred schools teach their children to participate in the larger society, but are taught that their first allegiance is to Jewish needs and causes (Shockley, 2007), the African-centred Schools Movement is seen as too radical and unnecessary. However, the true nature of African history has been excluded whether intentionally or unintentionally from the standard curriculum, reducing most mainstream African history to begin in slavery, negating the rich history of Africa.

More recently, Afrocentric schooling has been given more serious consideration. Comprehensive reform has become the order of the day, and the Afrocentric method of instruction, which focuses on the holistic development of students, has been viewed as a potential solution (Durden, 2007). This has created an avenue for the rapid growth of African-centered schools and supplementary schools across the world. The time has come for African-centered instruction to be considered as a viable solution to educating the African child in order to promote self-love and remove feelings of inferiority.

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