The Western model of higher education: Applications and implications for African development
Considering that developing African countries sacrifice a huge portion of their resources towards education, the expectation would be that these educated people would reinvest their skills and talents back into their communities creating a multiplier effect that transforms the economies of their countries. Instead, because their education mirrors the Western model of education, it is more tailored towards functioning in a Western style environment and thus does not focus on the basic socioeconomic problems facing Africa. When it comes to curriculum development, there is a tendency in some instances, to utilize curriculum templates from Western institutions without a rigorous analysis of the relevance of those templates. It seems there has been a tendency for African leaders to defer to Western capitalism. This could explain why Africa is far behind, in terms of developing its own educational curricula that does not only create graduates for the labor market but develops and strengthens creativity and imagination of students to research issues and challenge the status quo. A model curriculum would be one that develops and nurtures human skills and research capacity from kindergarten to University level. Children should not only be taught how to adapt to changing situations but also to question why situations turn out to be what they are and to influence better outcomes. The proposed curriculum should address/focus on 1.) research and innovation, particularly in high priority areas, such as agriculture, natural resources, health sciences, engineering and technology; 2.) access to education, without regard to gender, ethnicity, or location; and 3.) governance and management skills. This chapter explores the urgent need for a revision of the African educational curricula to speak to the need of Africa. This is the challenge and call of the century for all academic authorities in Africa.
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Tshabangu-Soko, T.S. and Caron, R.M. “The Western Model of Higher Education: Applications and Implications for African Development” Educational Policy in the Twenty-first Century, Rosemary Caron, (Ed.) Hauppauge, N.Y. : Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2012, pp. 37-47.
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