Traditional Educational Institutions in Child Education in Sierra Leone

INTRODUCTIONSierra Leone is bounded on the north-west, north and north-east by the Republic Guinea, on the south-west from the Republic of Liberia and on southwest by the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 27,925 square miles.

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The colony of Sierra Leone originated from the sale and cession in 1787 by native chiefs to English settlers of a part of property intended as a home for African American settlers that had been waifs at London and afterwards it was used as a settlement for freed African slaves. Sierra Leone attained independence on 27th April, 1961 and became a Republic in 1971. Education is provided by both personal and state-sponsored schools. The present system of schooling is 6-3-4-4 (that’s six years Main school, three years Junior Secondary School, four decades old Secondary School and four years tertiary/higher education. This system is complemented by non- formal schooling.Idea of EDUCATIONEducation is often utilized in the sense of instruction in the classroom, laboratory, workshop or domestic science room and consists mostly from the imparting by the teacher, and the acquisition by students, of information and psychological as well as manual skills. A wider significance than schooling is that of schooling. That is to say all that goes on inside the school as part of the pupil’s life there. It has, among other things, relationship between pupils and teachers, students and students both in and beyond the school. J. S. Mill (1931) opined that anything helps to shape the human being; to make the individual what he’s or hinder him from being what he’s not is a portion of his education. Implicitly instruction is lifelong and omnipresent; it is the sum total of all influences which go to make a man what he is, from birth to death. It includes the home, our neighbors, and also the street amongst others.Education is to some extent a willful intended process devised and conducted by the instructor with the purpose of imbuing the student with certain information, skills, of body and mind in addition to styles of behaviour considered desirable. In part it is the student’s own reply to the environment in which he lives. Education has three focal points: the individual/person upon whom the educator’s influences are brought to bear; the community or society to which he belongs; along with the whole circumstance of reality within which the individual and culture play their role. Man is a social creature; he grows as a man through the impact of personality on personality; and even for his basic physical needs he is based upon the assistance and cooperation of his fellow women and men. Without culture and the mutual support and enrichment of encounters that it supplies culture is hopeless and the lifetime of man, in Hobbes’ words, is”solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”One of the fundamental facts of human presence is that the pressure between the pull of yesteryear and the forward impulse into the future, between change and stability, tradition and innovation. For effective living,man needs a circle of security, an area of established habits and connection which forms dependable relationships. This is also true of the society. For its effective functioning there needs to be an underlying continuity of outlook and traditions that preserves its identity as a society and protects it against the disruptive effects of change. Change needs to be for life and not static but this change in turn has to be commanded by the fundamental traditions of society. It’s tradition that gives a country its character and distinctiveness for a society. The conservation of tradition consequently is always crucial.It has been recognized from time immemorial that the conservation of traditional education has a vital part to play in the creation of the child. The children of today are the adults of tomorrow; they must be educated therefore, to inherit and perpetuate the beliefs and modes of life peculiar to the specific society to which they belong. For each and every society has the urge to preserve itself not only physically but as community consciously sharing particular goals, ideals and patterns of behavior. This sort of education isn’t necessarily formal in schools by way of classroom education but that effected through the family and through the influence on the individual of societal influences and habits which the kid cannot evade. In Sierra Leone this societal education included intricate ceremonies of initiation between feats of endurance where young men and women must prove themselves worthy of their community. The ultimate goal was to create an individual who was fair, respectful, proficient, concerted, and who might adapt to the social order of the day. As Aristotle previously mentioned”the constitution of a state will suffer if education is neglected. The citizens of a country should be educated to match the constitution of this state. The type of character right to a constitution is that the energy which continues to sustain it as it’s also the state force that originally made it” (p. I).TRADITIONAL EDUCATION IN SOCIETYTraditional education has both a conservation and creative purpose in society; it’s a powerful means of maintaining a society’s customs, if not civilization. In the past the nature and needs of society played an essential role in deciding the nature of education. Professor M.V.C. Jeffreys (1950) once wrote in his publication, Glaucon, who”at a tranquil society the instructional system will tend to reflect the social pattern, while social uneasiness and instability create opportunity for using education as a tool of social influence”(p.7). Education appears both to the past and the future; inevitably it reflects the traditions and character of society. Standard education can be employed to prepare for changes in society and expect and prevent changes or the consequences of changes in society.

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