Virtual Kollage: The content of traditional African education

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The content of traditional African education



THE CONTENT OF TRADITIONAL AFRICAN EDUCATION  
Traditional Education
This refers to the education that existed before the coming of the white man, and which still exists alongside the European-type education. It is informal or non-literate. It is education that is handed down from generation to generation by observation and word of mouth, instead of reading and writing.

Moral education
Folktales, which characterized traditional life, were used to convey moral lessons. Through this medium, the virtues of society were conveyed to children. Virtues like selflessness, hard work, love for neighbour, honesty, etc.

Occupational training
Parents teach their children to be hard working so that they can assume the future responsibilities of adulthood. Parents usually enrolled their children as an apprentice with a skilled craftsman such as a carpenter, mason, blacksmith, etc. This way, the boys are trained to become farmers, hunters, etc. Mothers teach their daughters home-making skills, etc.

Science and environmental education
Africans had a deep knowledge of the weather and soil properties. The indigenous farmer had a way of testing the soil to determine whether it was alkaline or acidic and that determined the type of crops grown in an area. Even observation of nature had helped the traditional people to determine what to do at what time. There were herbalists who had a lot of knowledge on healthcare. Africans applied their scientific knowledge to manufacture textiles, soap etc.

Mathematical education
Traditional education was able to impart mathematical skills and knowledge. This was done for example, by the counting of fingers, stones, etc., and local games such as ‘Oware’.  These kinds of games enabled children to build upon their mathematical or counting skills.
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