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Examine the main characteristics of pre-colonial education, its pitfalls and roles to the development of African societies.

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Examine the main characteristics of pre-colonial education, its pitfalls and roles to the development of African societies.

Examine the main characteristics of pre-colonial education, its pitfalls and roles to the development of African societies.

Pre-colonial education; refers to the type of education provided to the African societies before the establishment of colonialism.

Pre-colonial education it was endless specialization process based on transmission of knowledge, values, skills, wisdom, traditions and experience from one generation to another. It was both formal and informal education.

The following are the characteristics of pre-colonial education, its pitfalls and roles to the development of African societies. To start with characteristics of pre-colonial education;

It’s emphasized on good morals and social conducts within the society; African societies had acceptable and unacceptable values, therefore pre-colonial education, characterized in condemns any action or behavior that tended to hinders the development of acceptable behavior. Example it was the duty of elders to teach the children how to behave.

Also it was relevant to the society; pre-colonial education it was relevant to environment, people taught what found to their environment. Example if societies based on fishing as the main economic activities, children taught fishing, it based in production of people who could fit and be responsible to the given community.

Another characteristic it was progressive; as it involved all stages of physical, emotional and mental development of the learner. Example physically learner taught how to dress and how to bath, also taught how to control their emotional.

It was not uniform; pre-colonial education differ from one society to another depend on the political, social, economic organization of the society as well as the demand of the community example Baganda taught how to cook matoke how to raid while maasai taught how to milk cattle, grazing and how to protect cattle from wild animals.

It was non-commercial education; that is it was free to all people in the community, the teacher was not payed salary, but food was given inform of food, domestic animals like cows, goat, hens, hoes, and tobacco pipes.

It had no written curriculum and organized syllabus; the curriculum changed according to the needs of the society, example during war boys taught military skills. Also during harvesting agriculturalists societies taught their children how to harvest.

On the other hand the following are the pitfalls of pre-colonial education

There were no records; due to the fact that pre-colonial African societies did not developed art of writing, it relied on memory and oral traditions; therefore it was easy for the learners to forget. Hence this is the one of the weakness of pre-colonial education.

It was conservative; pre-colonial education does not require changes according to the period of time. There were no developments of education, due to the fact that people taught what society need only.

It had no written curriculum and organized syllabus; the curriculum changed according to the needs of the society, example during war boys taught military skills. Also during harvesting agriculturalists societies taught their children how to harvest.

Pre-colonial education based on mythical; it based much on oral traditions, whereby lessons and stories given to the learners by elders, could not be proved scientifically.

Also it was based on torture, beating and sometimes death; learners of some of the societies died or injured during learning process, example hunters societies some learners loss their life due to the fact that during learning they attacked by wild animals like lion. Also slow learners in most societies were tortured and beaten by their elders when they fail to understand.

Lastly on the other hand the following are the roles of pre-colonial education;

To prepare the young ones for their roles and responsibilities in the communities; pre-colonial education prepared children to become self-independent, hardworking and to make decision in the given community.

To import knowledge, skills and experience from one generation to another; the individual children were taught practically by doing, smelling, touching, hearing and seeing. Example children taught about the different types of plants and animals.

 It enabled children to learn different occupations; this occupation includes medicine, iron working, farming, animal keeping and pottery making. It was depended to the nature of the given society.

To help children to learn and appreciate their culture; African pre-colonial education used to help learners to know the important of their culture, so as they can protect and preserve the given culture. Example; dressing style, dancing as well as language.

The children learn about their own rulers; pre-colonial education played a big role for the people to learn their history in order to continue to protect themselves. They learn how to respect their rulers, how to obey law and order as well as punishment administered to the societies by rulers.

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