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Emerging Perspectives on ‘African Development’

Speaking Differently

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Edited By George J. Sefa Dei and Paul Banahene Adjei

Emerging Perspectives on ‘African Development’: Speaking Differently discusses numerous areas of interest and issues about Africa, including contemporary challenges and possibilities of development. The book critically engages the many ways of presenting ‘development,’ highlighting the interplay of tradition and modernity as well as contestations over knowledge production in ‘post-colonial’ Africa. It offers cautionary words to field practitioners, researchers, and social theorists who work in development using language that is easily accessible to laypersons. This book is also for undergraduate and graduate courses on development, global education, rural development, and Africa studies. For readers looking for something new about Africa beyond the old stories of catastrophes and human misery, this book will be indispensable. It demonstrates that even in the face of many failures, tragedies, and suffering, Africa’s stories can be told with hope and a sense of possibility.
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Chapter 9. Basic Education and Sustainable Development in the Era of Globalization: Does Nigeria Mortgage Her Future in Accepting International Assistance for Her Primary Education Projects?

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MICHAEL ONYEDIKA NWALUTU

“We hold the future in our hands. Together, we must ensure that our grandchildren will not have to ask why we failed to do the right thing, and let them suffer the consequences.”

–BAN KI-MOON, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL, 2007

In this chapter, I reflect on basic education and sustainable development with particular focus on the Nigerian basic education system. I interrogate the continued reliance of Nigeria on fiscal assistance from international organizations for funding its primary education as a measure for achieving sustainable development. The chapter asks and then explores the following questions: Should Nigeria continue pursuing the nation’s hope of sustainable socio-economic development on an imposed educational system? How might the nation’s dependence on loans, subventions, and grants from international organizations and NGOs for funding its primary education influence the input and output of its basic educational ← 157 | 158 → system and sustainable socio-economic development? Is foreign financial support for basic education what Nigeria needs for its socio-economic development? How does the deformation of Indigenous knowledge systems through colonization influence the outcome of Nigeria’s struggle for educational identity?

There is urgent need for a shift toward locally planned and executed educational programs that has their foundations in the people’s socio-cultural and experiential realities. For whatever the priorities of foreign-imposed basic education are, it remains indisputable that the outcome would be nothing short of equipping Africans to be like Europeans. With the strings of the colonizer’s ideologies, practices, and frames of...

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