By Daniel Kelechi, Winifred Umoren, Oluwaseyi Fashida
Renowned historian Prof. Toyin Fálọlá, said that the establishment of educational systems in colonial Africa was primarily to transmit European values, bridge language barriers, and build readily available low-grade personnel to assist colonial governments.
Falola disclosed this on Monday, 15th January, while delivering the UNILAG 54th Convocation lecture themed “Decolonising African Higher Education for Transformational Development.”
He noted that the educational system in Africa, particularly higher education, has been overwhelmed by so many colonial narratives that have challenged African cultural heritage. Decolonisation encompasses various efforts aimed at resisting the intertwined processes of this colonisation that have caused individuals to become gravitationally distinct from their society.
Falola suggested practical steps and approaches that must be implemented to make the decolonisation a success. One of which included the proposal for the creation of a centre of creative economies to foster entrepreneurship and reduce over-reliance on the West and the “Japa” syndrome which the nation is grappling with. “
Creative economies represent a dynamic and evolving concept connecting a set of revenue-generating goals with a wide range of human creativity, which is then connected with technology. The success of this prospect would also be in the fact that given the wide range of public attention it will attract” he said.
Other practical steps would be the expansion of the general courses and programs on cultural properties, African epistemology, and ingenuities, the promotion of African languages as academic courses, amongst others.
The lecture had in attendance dignitaries like the Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, former Pro-Chancellor of OAU Ile-Ife, who chaired the lecture; Former Governor of Cross River state, His Excellency Donald Duke; the Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Professor Folashade Ogunsola; the Deputy VCs and other management staffs.