Our problem as Africans was the complete switch-over to (foreign) “education_Matthew Kosenwa Kainyah

An ancient education existed, though it wasn’t carried out in classrooms, where all kids were bunched together and taught subjects. There was a conscious effort to pass knowledge on to kids, not only to enable to make a living for themselves later in life, but also to become functional enough to contribute to society!

Africans knew, by experience, which part of the year to plant food and when to harvest it. They could go fishing and come back safely without getting lost at sea. They had goldsmiths and blacksmiths, who moulded gold and fabricated metal implements. This can only be true, because the legendary African king of the old Songhai Empire, Mansa Musa, couldn’t have shared gold on his trans-Africa journeys, if there were no assayers at the time to extract the gold for him!

Again, Africans were using metal implements to cultivate crops, such as plantain, yam and cassava, well before their encounter with White people. Who else could have fabricated the farm implements but themselves? Ashantis and Ewes created their own looms, with which they knit their Kente fabrics. Africans fabricated metal tools that helped them to fashion out the dugout canoes, which they’ve used until this day! That was well before the first white explorer met with Fanti Chief Nana Kwamina Ansah! Even common cookery skills were consciously passed on to girls, by assigning practical chores to them in the kitchen!

Our problem was the complete switch-over to formal (foreign) “education”! That switch only facilitated the loss of the culture that enabled Africans them to do things for themselves and in their own way!

As we speak, formal education now teaches caterers how to prepare foreign dishes, rather than local dishes. Can anyone point to be any cookery textbook in our country today, which contains comprehensive topics on how to prepare groundnut soup, “akatewa” stew, or “apepransa”? All the catering students learn at school, is what they call “continental dishes”! In the end it only facilitates a focus on foreign dishes, rather than our own local dishes! This is how formal education brings our children up to reject their own culture and indigenous technology!

We need to sit back and reflect over what we’ve gained so far from formal education, beyond allowing intellectuals to use their positions to steal from the people!

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