Colonial Education was a process by which people get knowledge, skills and values that were necessary for the mastering of social, political and economic situation under colonial rule.

Colonial education was provided in schools and colleges belonged to either the colonial governments or the missionaries in areas that mainly produced raw materials. It replaced informal or traditional education which existed before colonialism.

The aims of colonial education in African societies

1. To expand the market for the manufactured goods from Europe.

2. It aimed at creating African staff to work in the white color jobs such as clerks and foremen.

3. It aimed at creating elite who had to be loyal to the colonialists.

4. It aimed at providing the knowledge which could help Africans production of the raw materials.

Features of Colonial Education. 

A. It was pyramidal in shape. The colonial education was pyramidally provided. This means that the number of pupils decreased as the pupils reached the upper educational standard.

B. It was segregative. This education was segregative in the sense that only the sons of chiefs were given education while girls were not given education. School were runkers according to races. e.g There were special for the sons of chiefs.

C. It was bookish in nature It was mainly theoritical education.

D. It was for the white colar- Jobs education.

E. It was irrelevant to the African environment. The education taught the learners what was present in Europe and not in Africa.

Role of colonial education

1. The role of colonial education was to train Africans so they may be used as administrators at the lowest posts e.g. Messengers, clerks.

2. Colonial education was introduced to train sons and daughters of European colonial masters together with Asians.

3. It was to produce African puppets that were to favor the colonial Government.

Impacts of Colonial Education.

Although this education led to the improvement in African lives in many aspects, its impacts are enormous.

(i) Many Africans were left illiteracy due to the small number of Africans that were benefited with the education provided. Educated people were alianated from the society. Many people turn their back of African traditional since they adopted cultural values of European society example, ways of dressing and dancing, language as well as eating mannerisms.

(ii) Deduction of patriotism among the Africans. Those Africans who received the colonial education denounced the Africans and hence become suro-Afro descendants. This mainly happen in French colonies in West Africa where the elites denounced their fellow Africans simply because they had received colonial education.

(iii) Prepared Africans for colonialism. Africans to accept colonialism. In their areas for example the elites psychologically were prepared to accept the colonial administration as they were given chances in the colonial government as party and parcel of the colonial administrators.

(iv) Colonial education created hatred between the educated and non-educated people. This happened when the educated people segregated and used defamatory language to non-educated.

(v) Colonial education created the base of disunity and tribalism in Africa.

(vi) Led to the spread of Western civilization. Motives for Provision of Water and Housing Services.

vii. It produced educated elites who started to organize their fellow Africans to fight for independence e.g. J.K Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, etc.

viii. Colonial education killed African skills at large these skills remained in theory.

ix. It produced classes that is class of educated people and those who were not educated
Colonial education led to the destruction of African culture e.g. on dressing, eating, etc.

x. Africans started to dream on obtaining white color jobs (education was aimed for employment).



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