By Sserubiri Uhuru
I maintain that the problem of education in Africa is not on the content, the problem is pedagogical; the content we study in Africa has no problem at all; there is no problem teaching Napoleon Bonaparte, there is no problem teaching about Hitler, French Revolution, the longest river in the world, Shaka Zulu etc. It has nothing to do with all that; it has something to do with how it’s taught.
For example, I have found history extremely important in understanding the forces and trends shaping the world, and as an entrepreneur and scientist, that becomes extremely critical when building a company, and making predictions of how the world will look like, in say 2050.
The content we study in schools is great, the challenge is that content is delivered in a disconnected way, in that the student fails to see meaning and purpose or relevance in it and that brings me to that nonsensical debate of “art teachers” and “science teachers”, and who is more important. I hear who should earn more; for crying out loud, every teacher should be scientific, and artistic; you should teach physics in the context of science, but at the same time, in the context of art or humanities, to make more sense.
Knowledge should be wholistic; a professor of physics who has no knowledge of humanities, the arts, and metaphysics, is a danger to human society; and a professor of history, who has no firm grasp of the natural laws that have driven human progress is also a danger to human society. And when the teacher is teaching mathematics, physics, and chemistry, he should show the student how humans, working at the nexus of science and humanities/arts have driven human progress, and shaped our civilization.
A teacher teaching history, divinity, economics etc, should demonstrate to the student how the advancement of science has elevated human consciousness, driving social and economic progress.
The teacher should place Napoleonic wars into the grand scheme of things, and show the student how the emergence of Napoleon as a world-historical figure wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the progress of science. The student will start connecting the dots and realize how all knowledge is interconnected and they will be able to start identifying trends in the chronicles of history, make sense of the current world situation and develop ideas of how the future might look like and how they can position themselves for that future.