The argument in the academic industry about indigenous education cannot be quantified. While a group argues for resuscitation of this form of education, others are already eaten up with the idea of Western education. Such individuals consider any form of education other than Western education to be inferior. This calibre of people, perhaps, inspired Ngugi Wa Thiong’s Decolonizing the Mind. In Part 2 of our blog analysing the educational System in Nigeria, we will be examining the indigenous and religious educational systems in Nigeria.
Indigenous Educational System
This system is most popular in the rural areas, where people have little or no access to Western education in Nigeria. Individual learn things like trading, farming, leatherwork, and even traditional medicine from parents to children etc. Specifically, this system adopts the apprenticeship learning practice. During this period of learning, the apprentice/trainee provides service to the trainer over a period of time (mostly 3 – 5 years). Eventually, they earn what is popularly known as “freedom” at the end.
Just because they do not put a degree on it doe snot make it informal. What is formal education? These topics should be written critically and designed to “revolutionize” (as you put it above) thinking process of the reader.
Rethinking Indigenous Education
It is thought-provoking that we have limited our views and understanding of this system of education to mean ‘local education’. Out of ignorance, an emblem of “no value or relevance has erroneously been placed on this crucial system. Indigenous education can play a vital role in our society today. It is hilarious that the Western countries we are trying to emulate hook, line and sinker, respect their indigenous educational system.
As a matter of fact, they have found ways to design it to complement other systems of education they have. You can literally go to study Traditional European Medicine as a discipline in the Austrian Economic Institute. One can also study Chinese traditional medicine. Graduates of these studies receive an internationally acclaimed certificate and licence to practice. What then is with us?
Apprenticeship not equal Dullardship
The funny assumption is that those who learnt one trade or the other are dullards. They opted for that option because they couldn’t survive Western education. Hence, the moment we hear that somebody learnt a trade in place of Western education, we see them as dullards or low-class humans. Oh! Because a degree certificate is not placed on whatever they have learnt! Apprentice are not dullards. It is time for us to wake up from our slumber, it’s noon already and we are still asking for a blanket, to do what? Sleep more?
What about the inventors?
And by the way, all major inventors we learn about were hands-on people. Should it not be our duty to try to elevate the so-called indigeneous knowledge and empower all education forms that are available so that many people can tap into their own innate abilities as they present themselves? Many people are unemployed or underemployed, because they literally do not have real skills in manufacturing and production. Reading books to talk intellectually does not create enough jobs. It is not either or. Why can’t we value both? What many learn in trading is equivalent to the business knowledge many graduates I have seen have and often times better.
Call for recognition of Indigenous education
We have for so long considered western education superior to ours. Indigenous education that we consider as an alternative for dullards, on the contrary, is an integral part of education in the western world. Major inventors in the Western history were apprentices in one way or another. Okay, you are still in doubt, world renowned painter amongst other skills Leonardo da Vinci started as an apprentice. Likewise, Henry Ford, yes! The same one, he started as an apprentice machinist. Think electric light, and the name Michael Faraday pops up. Do you even know he started as an apprentice? Listen, it is everyone’s duty to remove the stigma on indigenous education, and begin to elevate it. Join us in our effort to do that Education resource center – Be a JoadreTV Creator!
Creating Job Opportunities with indigenous education
Many people are jobless today literally because they do not have the necessary real-life skills. They have spent a good number of their years reading books only. Meanwhile, in reality, reading books doesn’t entirely create or give a job. No wonder everyone is singing the chorus, ‘school na scam’ after discovering there is real knowledge to be learnt outside the walls of school. Check Basic Education For Entrepreneurs. 7 Must Haves. What many learn in trading as an apprentice, is equivalent to the business knowledge many graduates spent fortunes learning in business schools. In fact, more sophisticated than business school can offer (take the Imu Ahia, Igbo apprenticeship system for example).
In the next part of this series, we would continue with informal education looking at the religious educational system in Nigeria. This series goes up to 8 episodes, so stay connected via our newsletter – sign up to our newsletter.
Meanwhile, we have developed a unique app called the Joadre Tribe. The tribe app brings together on one platform;
- business education that is relevant to our global economy,
- data information to guide you and
- a community of both international partners/investors and Nigerian entrepreneurs.
The android version is ready for those with android smartphones – downloading right here. An IOS version is on its way.
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