Missionary/ Church Education in East Africa 

Missionary/ Church Education in East Africa

  • Education refers to the imparting of knowledge, skills and values into the learners. It can be both formal and informal.
  • Informal education is the African Traditional type of education which was imparted by the elders with no classrooms; no trained teachers, no time table, no syllabus, no credentials, and no assignments at the end of it.
  • Formal education is the western type of education involves reading and writing and learners are given academic credentials at the end of it
  • Formal education was introduced in East Africa by missionaries and later it was offered by the colonial government to the people of East Africa.

Characteristics of Missionary Education/ Formal Education

The missionary type of education is still going on in East Africa and it’scharacterized by the following:

  • It is formal in that teachers teach learners how to read and write
  • It is conducted in the established schools with good infrastructures like kings college Buddo, Gayaza high school etc.
  • This type of education is carried out in classrooms and classes are classified according to the age of learners.
  • Missionary education requires trained teachers to teach learners at different institutional levels.
  • Learners in this education are given certificates/ academic credentials at the end of each level of education.
  • It has a teaching time table which explains at a certain time when to teach and evaluate the learners.
  • This education system is not compulsory to everybody but it is attained by those who are lucky and those who can afford in terms of paying school fees
  • It’s regarded as an investment because of being so expensive and people expect wealth after attaining it.
  • Church type of education creates classes in the society based on the levels of education one has attained.
  • Missionary type of education is characterized by formative evolution of learner termly or per semester to find out the academic achievements or failures of the learners.
  • Learners in this type of education expect white color jobs after completing. They also expect being paid big salaries.
  • This education involves awarding of academic credentials like certificates diplomas, degrees, masters etc to all those who have successfully undergo a given level.
  • In this education system, there are teaching syllabi to cater for all those in different classes.
  • It involves a lot of research in order to find out new things which motivate human learning and development.
  • It is gender sensitive in that both boys and girls are taught together and it aims at bringing women at the same level with men in the society.
  • This education is very theoretical and neo-colonial and its major graduates are mainly job seekers.
  • The missionary type of education teaches against African culture and it emphasizes so much European culture and that’s why its graduates so much want to go to Europe instead of serving Africa.
Roles of Missionaries in the Provision Of Education In East Africa
  • They established academic schools from where they taught their education to Africans e.g. Alliance High school in Kenya established in 1926, Namilyango college in 1902, kings college Buddo.
  • They set up technical farm schools for agriculture, carpentry and building. E.g. at Bagamoyo established by Catholics.
  • They set up theological training colleges where religious education and theology were taught to learner’s e.g. Limuru theological college.
  • They set up medical centers from where they provided practical western education to the medical students. E.g. Mengo medical school in Uganda established in 1917.
  • They provided financial support for the smooth running of education in East Africa e.g. they paid the teaching staff and financed all academic programs.
  • They provided scholastic materials such as books, pens and other stationary to the learners hence motivating them to love the education.
  • They translated the English books into local languages a factor that facilitated easy learning of western education in East Africa
  • Christian missionaries further provided the teaching staffs from among themselves who were good teachers who taught the east Africans. E.g. Alexander Mackey.
  • They introduced and designed the curriculum and syllabi some of them are being used in primary and secondary schools of East Africa up to date.
  • They introduced formative and summative examinations in order to evaluate the academic achievements and the failures of the learners.
  • Missionaries also started the class best education that’s why primary and secondary schools today are based on classes.
  • They introduced academic credentials in form of certificates, diplomas, degreases etc and these motivated learners to learn to be awarded.
  • Missionaries gave out white color jobs to people who had been taught as Bishops, catechists hence motivating more people to join the school.
  • Missionaries taught some Africans as teachers and later recruited them to teach in their schools which motivated more Africans to start studying.
  • They also decompaigned and taught against African informal education calling it useless and primitive. This made Africans to join formal education.
  • Missionaries solicited for funds foreign nations which boosted their education to the extent that they were able to buy printing machines.
Strength of the Church/Missionary Education
  • Missionary education provides direct and indirect employment to professionals like teachers, doctors, secretaries etc.
  • It equips workers with knowledge, skills and experience hence increasing the efficiency of labour.
  • It is instrumental in supporting industrial development because it provides skilled labour with ideas necessary for industrial development.
  • It reduces the need for expatriates and brain drain and at the same time leads to job creation.
  • It helps in controlling population because people spend more years in school and when they start producing, they produce few children hence reducing population.
  • Missionary education helps the people to do away with traditional beliefs like having extended families and producing food for home consumption hence leading to development.
  • Missionary education has led to employment of many educated people which has reduced income in quality and increased savings.
  • Missionary formal education has increased people’s levels of income because educated people tend to have good jobs with good salaries.
  • Attaining missionary education also gives self satisfaction to the people and therefore it makes them have confidence and high self esteem in life.

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