Mr. Vice-Chancellor Sir, I also find the opportunity of these lectures gratifying for some reasons. Firstly, the discipline of philosophy of education which I have been teaching in this university for some years now is one in which everybody here is a practitioner of some sort. As thinking adult humans, all of us here are practical philosophers. Socrates, the father of modern philosophy, was reported as saying that the unexamined life is not worth living for man. We all at different times subject our lives to examination either in part or as a whole, consciously or unconsciously. It is my hope that nobody drifted to this lecture venue today without giving a thought to the decision—“to come or not to come”. There are many important things crying for the attention of busy people like you, giving each of you several possible ways in which you can invest this hour and make it count for eternity. That you have chosen to put in one hour of this precious day to listen to this lecture is therefore a philosophical decision which hopefully will be justified. Secondly, it is further gratifying to present these lectures in the discipline of education, a subject in which we all have a stake and which therefore is our cultural commonwealth. In man’s time-bound journey from the womb to the tomb, he is either educating or being educated—either formally, informally, or non-formally. Either as beneficiaries or providers of education therefore, everybody here is affected by the subject matter of today’s lecture. Let me therefore quickly say, Mr. Vice-Chancellor and distinguished listeners, that my mission in these lectures is to make presentations which should make us reconsider our assumptions about education and ultimately, rethink our practices, all in our collective interest as a nation and as stakeholders in education. As a person and as a scholar, my philosophy of life is so simple that any attempt to make it complicated further simplifies it. It is therefore in this attitude of simplicity of ideas and of language use that I intend to deliver these lectures in philosophy of education while having recourse to other foundational disciplines in education, and indeed, other relevant subject areas as occasions may warrant.
Published on Sep 1, 2009