THE BRITISH POLITICAL TROPICAL EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR AFRICA
Addressing the issue of Education , I will start by going back into time, into the Colonial era and ask what was the purpose of colonial education and schools ?
In brief the purpose of colonial education was to train some clerks, a few technicians to administer the colonial apparatus in the colonized countries. These clerks recorded things so that the colonial officials ( in the case of the British ) could take the right decisions and send them to the colonial office in Britain.
The other side of the education system was the training of the military which went under the name of the Kings African Rifles (KAR). The headquaters was in Nairobi East Africa, the other branch was in South Africa and the office responsible for the boundaries was in Sierra Leone, Free Town .
In brief colonial education was meant to transform the colonized peoples into British subjects.Some examples as how this was actually done was for example through syllabuses – and how this was used to indoctrinate the people into submitting,people becoming subjects The British had what they called the British Tropical Africa Education System. That was the base of it. The first step was , use of the British Language.
In order to erase in peoples minds their culture, traditions and ways of life. The Program of learning was in 2 parts. The first part was primary education which was 6 years.
You were taught in your mother tongue which was called the ”vernacular”. You where taught this from primary 1 to primary 4. The last part which was primary 5 and primary 6 was called Full Primary. This was taught in English. Preparing you for the Junior Secondary Education which was always boarding school. There you would go for 3 years after which you would go for Senior Secondary Education. This was an ordinary level. After that you would take a Cambridge School Certificate.
The teachers, lessons etc all came from England and it was also combined with religion. The leaders of the colonized had to be Anglican and Protestant, legal issues could be handled by a Catholic. In the case of Uganda, you could not be Prime Minister, Minister of Finance or Foreign Affairs if you were not Anglican Protestant . I think this practise was in all the British colonies and protectorates in Africa which all fall under today's British and Nothern Ireland Commonwealth Countries - ( Please take your time still as I will write on this topic of Commnwealth and what it means to Africans shortly on this forum desk ) .
To be considered educated, to pass full primary to go to Junior Secondary School and Senior, you had to pass English. If you failed English, you failed everything . It did not matter whether you got 100% in mathematics, to be educated was to speak English. So you can see for 6 years you were Brainwashed, then you spent an additional 3 years in Junior Secondary School and 3 in Senior Secondary School, 12 years in all. On top of that you are seperated from your tribal ethnic group and kept in a boarding school. After 12 years of this a person is left with practically no respect for his culture. Some do not even speak their own language.
For example in Protestant schools the girls were taught that to make native beer was sinful yet they could drink coca cola and British beer which was not sinful. So you will find, almost all protestant educated women of my age do not know how to make beer. Yet in Lugbari culture for example in Lado where I come from it is an industry. A young women can make beer, sell it and get money. Now they are not doing it, then what will they get ? Nothing.
So you will find, using English Language as an instrument for Brainwashing and being taught in all Secondary Education by white teachers (predominantly English) with only primary 1 to 4 or may be 6 taught in an African Language what can you expect . Allow this to go on for a generation and what can you expect ?
You have simply been oppressed , insulted, taught to respect the British , adore them and if you do not , you don`t pass and therefore you are not educated . We have to clear this, we have to introduce our own languages. There is no African University today in Africa which uses a native language. Everything is either in English, French, Italian, Portugeese or Spanish. So the Brainwashing is still going on today.
The first thing we have to do to counter this is to go back to our primitive African Languages whether they are called ”vernacular”, ”ethnic”, it does not matter. Language is the identity of a people. It makes you think. It is an instrument of culture, to carry culture, to preserve culture, to think about your way of life.
Unfortunately , Subjects like Economics or Law were not taught in the British Education System. You had to go to England, there was nothing in Africa. So when they said they are teaching you , they make sure you did History ,Geography , Mathematics and may be Medicine.
Another thing was that the brightest children in Junior or Senior Secondary were all taken to England so that they finish Secondary Education in England . So what can you expect of such persons, trained by foreigners , educated by foreigners , what can you expect of them ?
So I do not blame the present so - called educated Africans, because they are not educated . They are Brainwashed
How the Colonial System destroyed already existing sytems of education, governance and production in the societies they imposed themselves
Colonialism still continues : Colonialism had 3 stages , the first was what they called influence . Where you see through missionaries explorers ; they came pretending to be friends. They were the NGO`s of the day. The NGO`s replaced the missionaries and the explorers.
So the missionaries where instruments of the Colonial Administration. Another group was the anthropologists. You find they came pretending to live among villagers distorting and twisting their culture in their writings. You then had the administration starting with the lowest ranking the district commissioners, then came the provincial comissioners who was the link between the District and the Protectorate , taking Uganda as an example, which was a typical Colonial Protectorate compared to Kenya which was a Colony.
In a Colony the whites would just come sit on the land, drive the Africans away and use them as slaves to work the Land. South Africa and Zimbabwe where other examples are of of this. You don`t move they kill you. Uganda was different, it was a protectorate as I say here as example . Here you were cautious, you had to move like a snake. You only bite when necessary. You started by influence, missionaries bringing Christianity, Education and all this, so that people have a better life. The people feel they are loved and all the havoc is then done through that .
Then there was the Military. When a Tribe or Chief was resisting the British Administration a military expedition would be sent. Some of the Chiefs would be executed publicly like in Acholi Land where some Chiefs were hanged in Public in 1910-11. Some where deported commonly to the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean.
Now the Chiefs had to work under the district commissioner. This was called indirect rule. Ruling people through their own Chiefs which is exactly what happens today when they rule Africans through their Presidents. There is no difference. Back then they were Chiefs today they are called Presidents.
So, who made the rules ? For British Colonies they were made in England, for the French in Paris and for the Portugeese in Lissabon etc. Egypt (in 1517), Sudan (in 1821) and Lado (1871) were occupied initially by the Ottoman empire and therefore the method here was different at the time.
So the British used the Anglican Protestant Church missionary society to do all their ground work whereas the French used the Catholic Church as did the Portugeese. Anyway here , there is no difference as to whether it was Catholic or Protestant . For example in Uganda there was fight between Britain and France over the Kingdom of Uganda. The Protestants fought for Britain and the Catholics for France. In the Local language of Uganda , it became commonly known as baenglesa and bafrance ( the English and the French ) but they were not English or French. Except they were Catholics and Protestants . Funny indeed !!
It was even on the application form when joining the military that you must show your religion. You were given jobs according to your religion.
There was no Central Bank, all banks were controlled by the British. In administration from Executive position up to permanent Secretary it was the British, or Canadians, or Australians, or New Zealanders and sometimes South Africans, some of the Boers were brought to work there in Uganda as a typical example. No black man was above even an Asian origines. The clerks, the big clerks were Asians from Indian, Pakistan – at this time Bangladesh was known as East Pakistan. The Asians were above the blacks. They were between the whites who were top and Africans who were on the bottom . Such was the situation in the British East Africa up to South Africa .
So this was the Colonial structure until 1960 in the case of Uganda which was a Protectorate. In the Army no African was above the rank of Sergent Major. Anybody black was down. When the Ladoan ( present Agofe of Lado ) became Lieutenant in the Kings African Rifle - 4th Regiment - at the age of 18 , He was the first African Army Officer to become (in 1960) , then Amin – Idi Amin from Lado - became a lieutenant in 1961 with a fellow man Shaban Oplot from Teso in Uganda .
The military was used always to subdue the people, the Chiefs who refused , people who didn`t want to obey the British. It was worse than what they are pretendig to say about Zimbabwe today. There was no Democracy, no Elections, no Political parties.
This is a situation like to remember in Western Uganda around 1958 – 1961, the Colonial Secretary of Uganda Peagram – this was in1961 - ordered the drinking water of the Catholics to be poisoned so that on election day , the Catholics would be sick and would not vote . Fortunately somebody saw this and alerted the commender military Officer who was the Captain commanding in the Western Area( by then was the ( the present Agofe of Lado ) . The water was tested there was found enough poison not only to make people sick but to kill. Another example to give of the British mind was clearly was seen in Bunyoro . An election took place for Prime Minister, what they call Katikiro but a Catholic man won . The British said no, we are not going to appoint a Catholic to be Prime minster. Elections are irrelevant. And today we find the British Prime Ministers shouting about Justice and Elections. And in 1961 Democracy did not exis t. How can it exist today in Uganda and elsewhere where European Interests is Iceberg ?
The method to subdue people was on 3 levels . The first was through influence using explorers and missionaries (who are now replaced by NGO´s) the second stage was occupation. The military was brought whereby then tribes were attacked , their leaders killed to terrorise the society into accepting the authority of Britain.
Occupation means military force. Like they did in Iraq recently. Where they went to overthrew the President Sadam, hanged him and said OK ”you people you are under us, there is freedom.” There is no difference. And elsewhere is going on in Africa yet . Lado will never Bend to and kneel to this Powers of the Demon .
The final stage was what they called colonization. Which means after you had killed the people, subdued them you captured their leader (King or Chief), as an example , in the case of the Baganda the king was called the Kabaka, in Bunyoro it was the Omukama, in Toro OmuKama and for Ankole Omugabe. In Lado it was the Agofe. The Chiefs had to sign and he and his people and Land was then under the British with his thumb print. The British Administrator would then sign as evidence to be shown in Berlin that the territory was now under the British. Without that fingerprint according to the Berlin Treaty of 26th February 1885 the other European countries would not recognize your authority. The whole issue had an international connotation.
This was in article 6 and 15 of the Berlin treaty. Once you signed you became a European Colony or Protectorate.
This is the problem for us the in the whole of middle Africa, Black Africa. We have to come together and help each other. Not to be taken by what they hear such as talk about human rights. Human rights never existed. The first time I heard about it was 1990. It never existed before. Election never existed before.
Even in Parliament you had to be nominated. Approved by the colonial authorities. How do you expect people who have been treated like this for 2 generations, 70 years to run themselves.
The Africans were not allowed even to make a needle, a knife or a hoe of their own. In the early days if you were found making something your hand was cut off.
Our Mothers for example used to have a beer industry where she distilled alcohol with the same power as whiskey. It was an offence with a 7 year prison sentence as punishment. In Lado still we did it in the mountains.. That is one of the reasons why the British hate Ladoans calling them primitive , backward , ignorate , disobedient, unruleing survagge people in the Sudan Central Africa . And that is why they are still occupying Lado to educate these people wanting to use still the tropical education syllabuses they introduced for the African People .
By the way if a people are not allowed to do anything, not by mistake, not because they are lazy but intentionally like today when the US says ” Oh Iran, North Korea you are not allowed to develop nuclear enrichment ”. I am not therefore surprised that Africans cannot even produce a pen. As they were not allowed to. You were now a defeated race you couldn`t do anything. This is the reality people do not know in Africa. Even the young Africans. Because they did not live in it. I lived in it. It is nothing strange to me. May be what makes Mugabe to be considered what he is today is the truth he lived with. 10 years in prison, being beaten, he himself knows what torture is in prison.
These are the kind of things when put together when written correctly for our future we shall understand things more clearly. Africa from 1870 up to 1920 was a period of hell. Many of our people died and suffered, let their soul be in peace the Struggle must continue.
To discipline and educate them to obey. It was stated black and white. Obediance, to learn how to obey and be disciplined. The black man cannot understand words, they can understand pain. With pain they obey.
Compare him to a Danish Prime Minister who has from kindergarten led a life in a protected environment. Or Gordon Brown the son of a Pastor, what did he suffer ? He got everything served on a clean plate. I say the Africans should be proud of themselves, for surviving 70 years of subjection not to mention 500 years of slavery. You only learn to run away from your home to avoid being caught and when you are caught you are sold. Now the same person is today in his own country trying to fight the slave catchers who pretend nothing happen. These are the realities our grandchildren should know. We are not poor. But we have been oppressed, subjected to a situation where the pride of the human being has been lost . The only thing you could do was to allow yourself to become subject in order to survive.
People like Mandela 27 year in prison, Mugabe 10 years in prison. What was there crime? In the case of Zimbabwe, the British whites said Rhodesia was to be divided into two. Northern Rhodesia now Zambia was to be for the blacks and Southern Rhodesia was to be for the whites. That is why they are fighting for them that is there land, not an African land. The same situation is reapting itself / or has reapted itself in Sudan now : Southern Sudan is a sheer Anglo/ American creation Country / Nation in Sudan Central Africa for their Political interests only as I have reported so in my writing about Lado Enclave Struggles for her Freedom still in this Region part of Africa .
Lastly If one was only to ask a question about and through the Education they have imposed on us , one could ask , say when the British came to Zimbabwe did they bring land from England ? They didn`t. Did they buy the land from them ? They did not . And what did they do with the people ? They killed some and drove some away. Are the English not ashamed of this ? To say the land belongs to us and must be bought from us. Did they buy it from anyone ? This must be analysed. We need our own African education system syllabuses drawn .
The best I can say to the Africans is knowledge is power. Once you have knowledge you cannot easily be defeated
BRRITISH COMMONWEALTH – COMMONWEALTH FOR WHO ?
The proper starting point to feel on this desk is viewing Africa's position in this complex World Affairs . Africa seems to have a lot of problems, and indeed we have a lot of problems.
We feel that in order for us Africans to find a good standing point , where we should start examining our handling History going back to the time when the Slave trade was started , come through colonization , then come through decolonization , and then examine how the IMF [International Monetary ] and the World Bank are controlling the financial issues of Africa , thus the economic development of Africa , then come to the present campaign for globalization. Where are all these ? Where does Africa fit in ?
According to our observation, all of these are techniques, which are being used to control the Economic resources of Africa. When I say Economic resources, that also includes the Africa Personnel, the African people.
According to me - I'm sorry, I might be a little bit hard, but according to me, the official European policy of Governments, seems to see Africa as nothing except a source of Economic resources, and cheap labor. Therefore , when they say there's genocide in Burundi, genocide in Uganda, or genocide anywhere in an African country, it does not affect the European Governments , so long as they can still continue getting the economic advantage. That explains why , when for example Zaire's president Mobutu was being fought to be overthrown , everybody knew that president Mobutu was going to die shortly anyway. Why do you need to have such a big war, to overthrow a man who is already going to die ? Now, he was thrown out. Now he has died, but where is the peace in D.R Congo / former Zaire ? Where is the economic advantage? You may say it is too short a time to see it, but if you see it as it is , chasing President Mobutu out would definitely not have brought a solution to the problem of Congo-Zaire.
The Colonial Apparatus is still and always effective in Africa till todate --
So, where does our problem lie? One, it lies in the Colonial apparatus, which is still effective in Africa, either under the British Commonwealth - I know there are some Africans who will say, "Oh, we're independent," but I will assure you, that those of you who are under the British Commonwealth, you have no SOVEREIGNTY. You don't have it. And if you don't believe me, those of you who are members of the UN , I don't know whether they have changed it, but the British High Commissioner, or the British Ambassador to the UN, calls weekly meetings for Commonwealth Ambassadors to UN , so that when you go to vote, you are going to vote as Britain says.
And it is internally , legally correct, because when you became a Commonwealth member , you signed a Privy Council document, which says that, you are surrendering your SOVEREIGNTY to the British SOVREIGN . So when we are complaining , for example "Why is [Uganda's] President Yoweri Museveni behaving like this ?" or "Why is so and so Mr President in Africa doing that ? "
LOOK ! , He is getting his orders from somewhere. He does not operate on his own. For heaven's sake, President Museveni or like other Presidents in Africa do not make guns. In Uganda how would president Museveni support all that war, support Mr. Laurent Kabila all the way to Kinshasha ? That is one problem .
The other problem is, when we talk of the International Community, who are the International Communities ? Again, the International Community is composed of mainly of European countries. They are the ones , which have the power. And North America. There is no African country which can say, " I'm a part of the International Community," because you don't have any right to make Decisions. So we only sit and say, "Why aren't they coming ? We are killing ourselves." But what is the UN? Why should the Europeans send their people to go and die, in saving the miserable Africans in the corner of an Africa country somewhere?
Now, where is the problem? Again, the problem comes back, that in European policy, Africa as a land, probably should not belong to the Africans, because the Africans don't have SOVEREIGN RIGHTS . If you look at it , you see that the only African countries that have Sovereign Rights at the moment, are : Lado, though not independent, Ethiopia , Egypt , and Eritrea . Those are the ones , which can legally stand up in the UN and say, " Hey GUYS , you cannot tell me what to do, because I am myself ." But the rest , they either have to consult Paris, or London, some Washington, some Lisbon. There is no way that we can do anything, so what should we do ?
One of the things that I would ask our European Campaigners here, is that may be the Africans should start a Campaign , to abrogate the Berlin Treaty of 1885, where Europe decided to share Africa , and decided to own Africa, so that at least legally on paper, we can say, " Hey, this law here is now removed ." At least that gives us room to do things for ourselves. Even the OAU “ Organization for African Unity “ was created under the same Treaty. That is why we in Lado , cannot go to the OAU or AU and say, "Oh, OAU or AU , please help us." because the OAU or AU cannot do that. They will go to London first “ London, what do you say ? Can we help them ? “ They don't. Or they will go to Paris. Unless that thing is removed , we have a long way to go.
The Education of Statesmen
The main problem is Education for us Africans . I'm sorry, but sometimes I have a lot of debate with my African brothers . I say the African politicians do not actually know what a politician is supposed to do for his country. They think you become a politician to make money quickly , and get rich quickly for the Country . And they go about looking for the Donors to give Money . And I guess now you know who are the Donors ? And yet , a politician , to me , is supposed to be somebody , who is dedicated to protecting his people , and the country , and to organizing the country , so that the people can Produce.
The second thing is , the Africans should also learn what economics is . None of them knows the mechanism of Money. "We are poor. We are poor," and yet all the minerals are there in Africa. Africa is the poorest, and yet Africa is the richest. Now , what is the problem ? Why don't we learn how Economics operates, how Money operates? Again , it goes back to SVEREIGNTY . If you are not SOVEREIGN , you have no right to Create Money . So forget it.
Now, the third, is SCIENCE OR KNOWELDGE as such . We need scientific knowledge. You were reading a beautiful view of this man (Cheikh Anta Diop) in the 1960s , '70s , but how many can really do something, so that at least, in an African country, a man can really do something , so that at least , in an Africa country , a man can sit in a corner in peace and make a bicycle , or manufacture a needle , because if we cannot do that , then you will say, " Oh , maybe the Europeans are superior ," because everything we get , we get from Europe . Why is it that we cannot see it , and learn , and try to produce something ? When industrialization started in Europe , they started with food production , agricultural things , but nothing like that takes place in Africa . And instead , all of Africa's poor want bread from Europe , and , of course , they will give it , just for pleasure , but its not for free . They don't give it for free.
Knowledge is the key to power' So what are we going to do ? Maybe the Schilelr Institute should take one or two Africans and train them , to see how these things work , so that when one goes to negotiate with the IMF, maybe at lest, one can get better conditions. Instead , they get a minister from Africa Countries who knows nothing about finance, to come to negotiate. Then, maybe he drinks very nicely, and then tomorrow he is told, "You sign." He signs, and he has signed the whole country off . We remember at one attending a meeting with the former person who was in charge of the World Bank. I think it was Robert McNamara. He said, "I have been working with the World Bank for so many years , and I have been waiting to hear an African say no, to the conditions we give them, but non has said it." Upto until he retired, no African came and said , "Hey Boss , these conditions are bad. We are not going to take it," and the explanations , because they don't know what economics is, how it functions. Why don't they know? Because we are badly taught.
Alas ! The education policy, training policy we get in Africa, is still the Colonial one. We are supposed to be just Clerical groups. Even if I get a Ph.D. in a University somewhere, I will get that prestige , but in reality , I don't know what I can actually produce with that Ph.D.'
So, that is how I see it. I see that we need to do a lot in training , in learning , and we have to do something to remove this idea that Africa belongs to Europe . Those who may not believe me, if you take the World Organizations, how they group the world, you notice that Africa is not a part of Africa. South Africa is attached to Australia and New Zealand. Now , where are the African Countries between the Sahara and the Kalahari deserts ? Maybe North Africa , Algeria and Morocco will be attached to the Middle East . What happens with us in the middle ? So , I think we Africans have a lot to do for ourselves, and with those who want to help us , so that , at least , we an have a face as Africans. WE need knowledge. Knowledge is a key to power.