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Title: A New Paradigm for Sub-Saharan Africa's Sustainable Education in the 21st Century
Contributor(s): Kivunja, Charles (author)
Publication Date: 2017
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Abstract: The central premise of this chapter is that the education system in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) whereby primary schooling children are organised as one grade to be taught in one class by one teacher is a legacy of colonial education that failed to meet the expectations of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on education for all (EFA) and not suited to the current supply and demand conditions for primary education in Africa. This system is what is commonly referred to as monograde teaching (Little, 2007) and was introduced in SSA by the Western missionaries. The monograde strategy of teaching groups children according to chronological age into different learning stages and each stage is taught by one teacher in a class of its own. This has proved a problem in SSA where the education structures and policies adopted were borrowed from western countries such as England, France, Portugal and Italy. Such approaches to structure and policies in education have tended to exhibit a propensity to be contradictory, and have not achieved the desired results, particularly with regard to achieving MDG # 2, of providing universal primary EFA by 2015 as was expected. It is my contention that monograde teaching is unsuited to most educational contexts in SSA, especially in the rural and remote areas where it is simply not possible to provide a teacher for every thirty students or so in one classroom, either because there is a shortage of teachers, or insufficient classrooms, or not enough students of one age bracket to comprise a class of their own. For this reason, it would appear that reliance on monograde teaching cannot provide a long term solution to the provision of EFA for primary schooling in SSA. Therefore, it is not a sustainable model, particularly when you consider the globalisation effects of colonialism. The chapter presents a historical review of the nature of education and globalisation in Africa through three epochs identified as the colonial globalisation epoch, followed by the postcolonial globalisation epoch and then the digital age colonial globalisation epoch. Current supply and demand problems in African education are then discussed leading to the conclusion that a new paradigm is needed to afford SSA a better chance to provide EFA for primary schooling. The chapter concludes that SSA school systems need a type of African education that focuses on a deliberate effort to perpetuate and reinforce social solidarity and homogeneity that engenders critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, creativity and innovation, and communication. These are the foundational skills needed for sustainable education in the 21st century. The chapter recommends multigrade teaching - the model whereby children of different ages can be taught in one class by one teacher (Berry, 2000) - be the new paradigm, which could provide for education that would be sustainable in that over time, it would meet the demand for the previously enunciated MDGs on EFA in SSA.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Re-thinking Postcolonial Education in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 21st Century: Post-Millennium Development Goals, p. 33-50
Publisher: Sense Publishers
Place of Publication: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
ISBN: 9789463009607
Field of Research (FOR): 130205 Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Economics, Business and Management)
130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Education

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