Many Black parents invest in the education of their children by taking out education policies and sending off their children to multi-racial and private schools where they believe their children are getting a “good education”. But what is a good education? Is a good education a science and biology laboratory that has all elements of the periodic table easily available to students? Is a good education a Mathematics teacher who has a PhD from Harvard University, or an English teacher with a degree from Oxford University? Is a good education a school that is equipped with a full library and a sanatorium? Is a good school characterised by well-trimmed lawns and freshly-painted
Perhaps we should also ask, what is the PRODUCT of a good school? Is a child who matriculates with full distinctions a product of a good school? Is a Black child whose command of the English language could put the Queen to shame?
One of the biggest mistakes that Black parents make is to think that school is the only place where their children get taught and as such, whatever product comes out of those schools is brilliant. Parents do not take the initiative of teaching their own children the more important things, like their tradition and heritage. And the problem with multi-racial schools and private schools is that they don’t teach a Black child how to be an Afrikan, how to think for Afrika and how to gear all his/her energies and ideas towards and Afrikan developmental agenda. These “good schools” that we are sent to do not decolonise our minds, they do the exact opposite.
And so, when your child comes home from a good school and he/she cannot express him/herself in his/her native language, what has effectively happened is that you have sent your child to a place where greatness is measured by how much and how well he/she DIVORCES him/herself from his/her Afrikanness. You have failed to address the fatalistic logic of the unassailable position of English in our society, by reducing your own native identity to a subordinate of a foreign and colonial tongue. Yes, English is critical in our day and age, but so too is the affirmation of our own Afrikanness. An Afrikan child who cannot speak an Afrikan language, no matter which “good school” he/she went to, is embarrassing.
On that note, i request parents of children above the age of 16 to buy their young ones DECOLONISING THE MIND by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, which explains how colonialism has deemed Afrikan languages unworthy of use – both by the colonisers and by the colonised.
Blessed morning to all sons and daughters of the soil!