As Africa becomes more conscious of the need to speed up her development process through achieving Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, the relevance of its education curricula has become a key issue. African education is based on western experiences that aimed at building a cadre of human resource that would act to maintain Africa as a market for the western economy.The educated African elite have not spearheaded African growth.
The first school is the home. Every parent teaches children how to live within the surrounding environment. A child will be taught all the dos and don’ts; how to handle and operate homestead facilities; how to bring food to the table; where to find and how to fetch water home; how to get and use firewood; how to rear cattle; how to conserve and cultivate land and how to maintain hygiene among others. All these are taught to the child to ensure sustainable survival.
Education ought to empower individuals with the most appropriate skills and knowledge for survival and self-perpetuation in a given environment. It is this home prototype that should form the future curricula. What the child learns at home should now be taken to another level. The child is now taught how to construct the well from which water is collected and how to maintain it. The child is taught how to manage cows and establish appropriate pastures for them, how to construct waste bins, how to wash to ensure hygiene and so on. Thus, the whys and hows are now more explained in addition to the dos and don’ts learnt at home.
In tertiary institutions more advanced questions are answered. This is the time to formulate tools, assemble disassemble them. It is the time to repair, add value and innovate. Based on the above rationale, one would view the education curriculum as one that answers the following questions and the different levels of education.
Primary school level
What is a human being?
What is the environment in which human beings live?
What are the interactions between human beings and the rest of the environment?
How can human beings benefit from that environment?
Secondary school level
How can human beings maintain the beneficial environment?
How could the environment be improved on to serve humans better?
What factors prevent amicable co-existence between humans and the environment?
How could those negative factors be handled or avoided?
How do we add value to enhance benefits from the environment?
How do we solve factors limiting human’s best co-existence with the environment?
What innovations are possible to sustainably exploit our environment?
What is the best way through which the environment can be maintained?
What are the different levels of interaction and how do they benefit us?
How can this situation be enhanced for maximum benefit?
Many more questions could be asked and answered by the curriculum at the respective education levels. The idea is to maintain the logical flow which leads to the real and desired educational system that would stimulate African development.