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March 3, 2024
You are currently viewing Legal luminary Ali seeks decolonisation to advance education sector 
Prof. Ali , SAN, delivering the first Distinguished Public Lecture at Thomas Adewumi University, Oko, Kwara State

Legal luminary Ali seeks decolonisation to advance education sector 

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By Olayinka Owolewa
A legal luminary, Prof. Yusuf Ali, says there must be decolonisation of the brain to advance the education sector in Africa and empower the next generation.

Ali, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), made the observation at the maiden edition of the Distinguished Public Lecture of Thomas Adewumi University, Oko, Irepodun Local Government area of Kwara.

Speaking on the topic, “Decolonising African Education to Empower the Next Generation” the legal icon said the context of African education is essential to comprehend the immediate need for its decolonisation.

According to him, decolonisation would address the systemic challenges African education is facing today.

“The tout of African education is plainly marked by the influence of erstwhile colonial powers, leaving a heritage that advances Eurocentric biases and marginalisises the long-standing indigenous knowledge system that forms an integral part of Africa’s culture tapestry,” he said.

He said that Nigerian education was greatly impacted by British colonial domination, adding that African leaders should promote use of local languages for academic activities.

” Rather than meeting the requirements of the native population, the British formal education system was designed to serve the interests of the colonial government.

” The curriculum reflected the customs and ideals of the colonisers and was frequently Eurocentric.

” Native languages were marginalised because English became the language of instruction.

“During the colonial era, producing clerks, interpreters and low-level administrative staff to support the colonial adninistration was the main objective of education.

” The goal of the educational system was to further the interests of the colonial authority rather than to empower the indigenous populace,” he said.

Legal Luminary and Guest Speaker at first Distinguished Public Lecture at the Thomas Adewumi University, Oko, Kwara State , Prof. Yusuf Olaolu Ali, SAN, receiving an award from the Founder / Chancellor of Thomas Adewumi University ( TAU) in Oko

The scholar said that there was, therefore, need to decolonise brain thoughts, ways, actions, outlooks and work ethics.

He urged African countries to implement curricula that reflect African viewpoints and aimed at empowering indigenous languages in education while fostering culturally relevant pedagogy.

According to Ali, it is important to de-emphasise educational certificates, adding that Africa should decolonise educational assessment and evaluation.

He also called for adequate funding to support research and policies geared toward decolonisation, saying teachers and students as critical stakeholders in the education sector should be empowered.

The founder of the university, Mr Thomas Adewunmi, on his part paid tributes to Ali, saying thelegal icon had set an enviable standard for future speakers in the lecture series.

Adewunmi, who is the Asiwaju of Oko land, said most of the recommendations put forward by Ali would be put into practical use toward improving educational system in the institution.

In her remarks, the vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Francisca Oladipo, commended lecturer, saying that the event would help shore up the image and reputation of the institution. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
(Edited by Mufutau Ojo)

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