The word liberation has a couple of meanings but one given by the Encarta dictionary is closer to my view of actuating the liberation dream. The dictionary defines liberation as the act of setting somebody free from traditional socially imposed constraints such as those arising from stereotyping by gender or age.
Stereotyping is one unnecessary social evil that was conceived by ruinous colonial ideologies and sought to make them universally acceptable and unquestionable.
Liberation in the education sector should be a deliberate move to disentangle education systems from all colonial vices like discrimination on any ground. It is only and only then that liberation can be fully celebrated and its fruits enjoyed.
The belief that Africa needed pacification and ‘civilisation’ was nothing more than an oppressive colonial mindset with a silver lining. For many African states, independence was just a mere change of guard.
As President Paul Kagame noted in his 50th independency speech, in this decade that has been dubbed the African decade, many African states will be celebrating 50 years of independence. What many African countries have achieved in the last 50 years cannot be compared with what countries like Britain that were never colonised have achieved over the years. As the President noted, 50 years are long enough to transform citizens’ lives.
Education systems should, therefore, steer clear of colonial objectives and the beaten track and embrace policies that are geared towards thawing social frost and institutionalising patriotism.
Colonial education policies that prepared Africans for subservient roles may not be in existence in the post independent African states but their undertones may still be rife.
Education for all is one of the major bold steps in the departure from the colonial thinking. Everybody having free and unlimited access to education irrespective of their gender or political association is no mean feat.
Continual curricula reviews should ensure that the curricula structure and content should take holistic approaches that are devoid of any forms of discrimination that characterise the colonial curricula.
On the part of Rwanda, much has been done to revamp the education system which can be viewed as a move in the spirit of liberation.
Opening up of further study opportunities and sponsorship to all Rwandese is another sole result of liberation. Now it is up to the stakeholders to walk in the footsteps of the liberation blue print to safeguard the gains made so far or lose it all.