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It is clear that the reason why westernized education particularly higher education was “wrestled” from the colonial masters by Africans had nothing to do with character development or inculcation of social values. It was primarily the acquisition of material well-being. Closely following this was the more esoteric aspiration of “elevation of the black race.” Adewoye said further: A corollary to the growing race-consciousness among the educated Africans was an awareness of the technological gap between their race and the white race. This awareness was at the bottom of the desire for higher education. For true emancipation of the black race, and for the purpose of raising the status of the black man, and of making him contribute his quota to human progress, higher education … was invariably considered to hold the key.43 Mr. Vice-Chancellor Sir, it is clear that while traditional African education can be rightly considered as an end in itself, westernized education was accepted as a means to an end of especially material well-being and racial emancipation. Traditional African education operated in collaboration with the social institutions that constituted the life wire of the African child i.e. the family, especially the extended family, the community and its religion, the system of government, the judicial system and others. Westernized education on the other hand, was provided in schools/colleges which were physically detached from their communities and were run by people who were not necessarily members of the communities. In the days of missionary education, children were discouraged from practising community values because these values were considered either “pagan” or “barbaric”. I recall that I was suspended from the boarding house for one 43

Ibid.

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Professor Oluremi Aina Bamisaiye University Lecture  

University LEcture

Professor Oluremi Aina Bamisaiye University Lecture  

University LEcture

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