Commission on Research in Black Education

Worldwide Conspiracy Against Black Culture and Education

Ibrahima Seck

 

It is obvious that most of the problems Africans are facing today in their quest for education, which is meant to lead to a better life, originated from political and social unrest generated by the Atlantic slave trade and European colonization. The slave trade introduced permanent warfare, which resulted in the dislocation of powerful and stable empires into small kingdoms. Traditional rules of succession were discarded. Only fire arms opened the way to power. This situation facilitated European colonization. The African continent was divided into new political units separated by artificial boundaries. During the slave trade era, Europeans were mainly interested in providing human labor to their American colonies. With colonialism, the main goal was to use Africans to work on their own land in order to provide the badly needed raw materials to European industries. Railroad tracks were built just like needles reaching the far interior of the continent from where all kinds of goods were transported to the coast and then to Europe. New towns mushroomed on the coast and most of them became the capitals of the newly created political entities and the cradle of the colonial schools. As stated in William Watkins's paper, under colonialism, the ruling regime needed education for obedience, docility and acceptance. Since not many Europeans could make it to Africa, and also in order to minimize expenses, Africans were introduced to European education in order to serve the colonial masters. Most of the African countries were granted “independence” around the 1960's but the ruling powers managed to leave behind them the tool of permanent subordination, which is the colonial school.

This paper will focus on specific issues related to education in Senegal. These issues will be narrowed to my own experience as a researcher in African and African-American history, and also as a teacher of History for 15 years at Lycée Blaise Diagné, an emblematic high school located in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. I am especially interested in three issues:

This paper will focus on specific issues related to education in Senegal. These issues will be narrowed to my own experience as a researcher in African and African-American history, and also as a teacher of History for 15 years at Lycée Blaise Diagné, an emblematic high school located in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. I am especially interested in three issues:

  • The two-speed-society created by the colonial school.
  • Problems related to the language used in education and the contents of the school curriculum.
  • The impact of the structural adjustments imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Ban