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Globalization has brought more development to the developed countries while the developing countries continue to languish in poverty. The poverty gap between these nations has greatly increased as well increase in trade imbalance. The western countries have fought for the removal of trade barrier in the African nations but the western countries have on the other hand raised the trade boarders against the Africa countries and other developing countries. The rich industrial nations are seen to manipulate the poor countries by having trade imbalance in many sectors.
This can be attributable to the kind of education system that the western countries introduced to the Africans and other colonized nations.
African education system in West Africa
Education process in the traditional African setting was integrated with social, culture and religious affiliation of that ethnic group. The education system was started at birth of the child and was carried on to adulthood. The girls’ education entailed how to socialize and be grow to good motherhood, while boys were trained such skills as hunting, agriculture, herdsman etc. depending on ethnic. One was taught to be respective full of the cultural norms and obey the elders. This is shown by the fact that although Okonkwo did not apologize to the neighbuors after beating his wife, he carried out the required cleansing rites as per his traditions. (Achebe 1995).
The African education system hence prepared the youth to be responsible in their homes and village. Many societies also offered mental training before being considered to be worth in the society. The period of training varied according to sex. The boys’ was mostly a longer period training that the girls. The training took a lot of incentives and encouragement so as to see that one gets courage to undergo such rites as circumcision. The young could also learn from their elder brothers imitating them and repeating the actions done until one becomes oriented of the full activities of the society. But at times, a youth could refuse to follow certain traits from his elders that he sees are not worth. For instance, Okonkwo is portrayed as a youth resting on his personal achievements and doesn’t want to be like his father (Achebe 1995). The old also provided education to their young ones through story telling that were passed on to the other generations. These stories carried significant lessons with them. The youths were taught lessons that could help them avoid characters that were scorned in the society (Duiker & Spielvogel, 78). A child mostly received the first trainings from the mother and later as approached adolescents; the whole community was involved in the training. The system allowed the youth to learn from one another through folks, and songs. The Africa education system was adequate (before the coming of Europeans) to equip the youths with the required knowledge to live harmoniously in the society. The coming of the Britons in West Africa saw the Africans relinquishing their culture as in favour of the Britons (Achebe 1995 pp 152). Rev. Smith for instance, in things fall apart influenced the unveiling of one of the egwugwus of the Igbo community in favour of Christianity.
The British Education system
The British education system saw the African education system as being primitive. By looking at how the Igbo court system solved conflicts, it was apparent that the community’s way of doing things was primitive. This is through for instance at how they killed the innocent twins because of their beliefs (Achebe 1995).
The first education systems in West Africa was most characterized by enslaving the Africans and teach them English language so that they can be helpful as interpreters in trade actions (Duiker and Spielvoge 2007) The education system aimed at making their protectorate to have economic progress. Most of the early training to the Africans was aimed at making them more active in agricultural fields than in fields like medicine or scientific training.
The European education system forced the Africans to settle in the European centers and try to learn their culture as well. This implied that those moving to these sites for search of education were to uproot their traditional view and thinking about the society. This brought some societal changes that in the end meant it was compulsory for the children to have formal education (Duiker and Spielvoge, 2007).
The education system incorporated literacy that allowed the Africans to learn about the European culture and incorporate into their daily life. This kind of education planted imperialism that had a lasting effect even after independent as Africans found themselves using the English language and losing their vernacular. The literate Africans lived in urban centers but had poor infrastructure and housing in general. The education system made the Africans to develop the European tastes and demand. This implied the European companies could supply the Africans with their European products and hence increase trade.
Effects of globalization on education
Education has undergone so many changes due to globalization. This has brought about development in certain sectors as technology and communication. Furthermore, there have been increased ideas, and values that have also seen the changes of roles from one group to another. This has brought about the new cultural imperialism in the globe. Even though the western kind of has brought about children who can compete in the global world, others fell that it is the cultural imperialism that will only lead to creation of a universal western society. This was indicated by how the Britons indirectly took control of the African states (by setting up administrative boundaries) after the missionaries had introduced their religion and teachings in these states (Achebe, & Duiker and Spielvoge).
The globalization of the education system has also impacted on trade. The capitalist societies are agitating for free global trade and this has made education institutions to focus more on creating funds than concentrating on provision of education. The higher institutions of education have been forced to go into entrepreneurial activities so as to compete in the global market. Education has changed its role and it is now seen as a tool that will provide a person with a good job, lead a better life, and then have power and status in the society.
There has been also increased globalization of higher institutions of learning, which is based on profits. This has increased competition and tension among commercial and education institutions. The privatized institutions have seen increased international students. The providers of this kind of education system to the international students can be controlled. The problem with this system is that it is difficult to regulate trade activities within institutions offering higher education in relation to course and degrees being offered.
This kind of problems associated with the western education system and globalization has caused an increased campaign by the African countries to form unions to fight for what they feel are their rights.
Achebe C. Things Fall Apart; ISBN 0-67-944623-0, Everyman’s Library, 1995.
Duiker.W J. & Spielvogel J. J. The Essential World History, (3rd Ed.), New York Wadsworth Publishing, 2007.