The Sower and the Seed: Redefining Primary Education in Tanzania for Post-Colonial Liberation
Ranahnah Ayodele Afriye
Thesis DT 3.5 2002 A475
xiii, 191 leaves: ill. map; 29 cm.
This thesis examines Tanzanian educational policy from 1967 to 1984, analyzing the socio-cultural aspects of Education for Self-Reliance (ESR). In these years following the issuance of "Education for Self-Reliance", Tanzania's government sought to create an educational curriculum that was both socially and culturally relevant to a nation emerging from nearly a century of European colonialism. This study specifically addresses the primary school setting, and how it was affected by attempts to develop culturally-relevant content, that is, to "Africanize" the curriculum.
There are several questions that frame the scope of this thesis. Was cultural affirmation of Africanization a theoretical principle within ESR? If so, what effects did Africanization have on the primary school curriculum and environment? Through oral evidencing, obtained in interviews with individuals who attended Tanzanian primary schools during this period, this exploratory work provides a descriptive analysis of the effects of Africanization on the perceptions and attitudes of school participants.
This study proposes that Education for Self-Reliance substantively affected the experiences of primary school students. The school became a forum for affirming the social value of indigenous cultures, thereby rejecting the perpetuation of European cultural hegemony. Within the framework of nation building common cultural identity was forged in the school, aiming to foster cohesion amongst the nation's numerous ethnic groups. These educational reforms were implemented within the broader model of African socialism and ESR's implementation effectuated social changes, for example increase social obligation for students, developing school and community alliances, and promoting valuation of indigenous cultures. Through these means, the racial hierarchy that had been established under European colonialism (with German and then British control), prescribing African inferiority and the myth of cultural subservience, was subverted through the curriculum of Tanzania's schools.
This study situates ESR in the context of African indigenous pedagogy and the elements characterizing the continuum of an African educational tradition. In this tradition, community involvement in the educational process and individuals' linkages to greater societal ideals are paramount. Based on this premise, the thesis draws connections to the development of Independent Black institutions in the United States and the broadened definition of African-centered educational theory.