The place of african values

            Wrier maulana  wahiduddin khan defines education as the knowledge of putting one’s potentials to maximum use. One   can safely say that a human being is not in the proper sense complete till he is educated, “through education, man is enabled to receive information from the external world: to acquaint himself with past history and receive all necessary information regarding the present. Values according to oxford dictionary are moral or professional standard of behavior. They are, in other words principle that governs decisions behavior.

I believe, the title given to this article immediately proposes a consideration of the relationship between culture and education. Education as a theme in this article appears considerably clear when we think of the fact that we are talking about formal learning at a given level: that is at secondary school level. Culture here also appears as a theme because once we talk about about values in a given environment we remember without much problem that values can be mounded an configured by a given culture and culture itself is preserved by the values system it has been able to establish as the norms of behavior. Therefore I find it impossible to talk about African values without a consideration of African culture. It will then be necessary to say that certain values can be considered African only to the extent they have been able to give an expression to an underlying culture that should be the source and motivation of these values. We should remember that culture that culture is the totality of a people’s way of life. A way of life that is at the root of identifies and defines the people as a group. Therefore we talk of African culture as the way of life that defines us as Africans and through which our identify is configured an established. This particular way of like peculiar to the values I believe that should be .inculcated at every level of formation in the society especially at formal education level. To develop real African values in the consciousness of our young ones, our youths should be taught at every level to take pride in everything about a people can suffer external assault and damage: her territorial integrity, physical oppression, denial of right, undiluted racism in these dimensions is not enough to destroy the soul of a people until her culture suffers damage. When a people  is gotten to despise what gives them their identity as a people, then the very essence of the existence of that very nation is put to question. So, African culture should be preserved at all costs through our formal educational system for these africanvalues to be retained, the pertinent question becomes: how do we go about it in the secondary school level? To begin, I think the secondary school curriculum should be structured in such a way that the consideration of our culture as people should be at the very heart of our educational formation .the curriculum for social studies should lay a great deal of emphasis on African societies and culture. It should be able to study the difference that there are and the similarities, but with a little more emphasis on the latter. Nigerian language should be studied with passion at this level. I find it leasing to find some students who take a special interest in Igbo language because I know that every language should be natured in order to grow. I equally find it very disgusting to see a good number of Igbo who have finished their education at the tertiary level but cannot read a line of Igbo and even take pride in proclaiming it. A special attention and emphasis should also be given to African history. You may be a little surprised to see how vast some student are in European history and how equally ignorant they are of African history. They talk to you about the Greek and Romans with ease and remember Abraham Lincoln with keen interest, but talk to them about kwane Nkrumah or Julius nyerere and see the surprise that creeps into their countenance because the  names do not ring a bell. Everything about African history should  be  studied in depth, both the positive aspects of our history and the regrettable ones because  the are part and parcel of what has configured us as a people. Attention should be given to great African kingdoms like the Benin of Nigeria and the Ashanti of Ghana so that student can learn that African actually produced such level of organization structure comparable to what we see in modern nations and state of today. It is something to be proud of. On the other hand, other historical facts like slavery and colonialism should not be allowed to drift into the past as one inconsequential episode in humanity’s many mistakes. Its history, effects and consequence on the life of modern African should be taught in our schools so that future mistakes can be avoided as a result of a thorough knowledge of this our pain past.

I believe that when student are formed the way very beginning to appreciate our being African with all it entails, then the values we seek and appreciate as people wells  up naturally from the very soul of our person. Even though I insist that the very foundation of these values that the very foundation of these should be based on the appreciation of our culture as I have pointed out. It will out also be out of place to give special room for inculcating some of these particular values in the educational curriculum. It is not impossible to have a subject AFRCAN CULTURE AND VALUES introduced in the secondary school curriculum and moreover making it   a compulsory subject.  This  is no obsession but to appreciate being who they are AFRICANS> even if a separate subject ct cannot be introduced, greater intensity could be given to social studies with African values at the  very heart of the subject. A great deal could be done to get our youth to appreciate once more our  being created by  the almighty God as AFRICAN because  the wind blowing from America and the rest of the  erode every values we have  as a people. From music to dressing, from dressing to even diet, our lifestyle is completely being attacked by this craze to do it the way the white man does it. Things have got to change and the time to act is now and the best way to do it is through our educational system. In this proposition  I am making to introduce a subject on African culture and values, I actually  have I mind some  particular values that are very African and should be  protected  as a result of good teaching and direction in our schools. Let us take the value of the African warmth and hospitality as an instance. It is now a general trend among Nigeria university student never to salute a stranger they meet in any office or place  of contact. This is because a good number now see it as outmoded to do that. You no longer belong if you salute people on the way or any other place of contact. The simple reason is that the western individualistic-tendency is being accepted because it is an attitude preferred by the white man.  Student should lean that this value of showing warmth is very African and not just African but splendid manners which even the white man admire in the African.

African dressing should also receive attention in this effort. The youth should be made to understand that hip hop culture does not necessarily have to set the pace in everything including in our mode of dressing.

Our youth now put on rags in the name of jeans and they accept it as a normal thing. Young girls go about half completely naked and everyone accept it. We should be taught that the African mode of dressing should not offend our sense of decency and that there is respect and joy in appearing decent in our dressing and not sexy.

Student should also be taught  that social hierarchy that comes with age is nothing outmoded but our own way of  recognizing some structure and organization in the socaity.therefore respect for elders should never be compromised in any way. Student should also be taught of the need to preserve African language so that we can put a stop to this craze of making sure that our little kids speak only English as their language the first six years of their lives. I am saying this because I have met a number of twelve year old born to Igbo parent and bred here in Nigeria who could not speak a word I igbo.the logic of this whole scenario is very clear. For people who think this way, everything African is inferior including our very language. These are some of the anomalies we can combat through a thorough planning of our educational system. Another aspect I would like to touch which may not appear very evident to so many people is the African religious attitude. The African man is very religious and though we can say that Africans are not the only religious people on earth, we can affirm to a large extent that the wave of rejection of the religious heritage which is evident in the western world has not completely entered our society. We should therefore make every effort to preserve this our attitude and students should know that there is nothing to be ashamed of being religious but rather, it is a precious gift from God to have this kind of inclination find this necessary to say this because I know with time this attitude of borrowing from the west may one day begin to make us dought how useful this our religious attitude has been to us. All in all, I think all of us should see this fight to keep our African values intact as a fight for everybody. The government should not just keep thinking about the parent and teachers of this student and the parent should not wait on the teachers to do a job they are supposed to have done at home. Adequate attention should be given to this  effort by government both in terms of logistic and funding and thus make sure that the school curriculum gives the attention is should to our  African heritage. Our youth need to know that they have a lot to be proud of as Africans. They should know that they have a lot to hope f or as Africans and they should always be proud to hold their own against any group or race anywhere in the world if the right attitude is ingrained inside them .the best way to form them to become these great ambassadors is through our education. No time should be wasted because we have lost a great deal already.


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