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By P. Higgs

The Africanisation of schooling is a hugely topical factor. The potentials and pitfalls of Africanisation have drawn loads of serious debate, either in Africa and in a foreign country. After the political alterations of 1994 in South Africa, there was renewed curiosity within the query of a distinctively African philosophy. This ebook offers a scientific and transparent exposition of an African voice in schooling, drawing on exclusive authors throughout Africa.

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I do not want to undervalue the scientific and other research facilities now existing in Africa and in other parts of the world. These infrastructures, however, still lag far behind those existing in the North. Whatever the discipline, the amount of scientific and technological information stored in African libraries and documentation centres is much poorer than the information they can get from Northern facilities. This is not only true for general disciplines, but also for the so-called area studies, including African studies.

A good prospect for the economic and social policy could have been to encourage the development of small and middle-size farms or rural enterprises. The educational system would in this case have to be reoriented according to this goal. Unfortunately there are still so far no more than 350 students in the few agricultural schools of the country, out of a total number of over 80 000 students in public high schools. 2 The following paragraphs are adapted from a speech delivered at a symposium organized by the Centre for Development Studies, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, in June 1998.

No less important is the issue of the geographical location of the institutions, which should foster equitable access by students originating from all parts of national territories. Financing Higher Education Since the independence of most countries in Africa, the financing of higher education has been based on the idea that education, including higher education, is a public good and that, as such, it is the responsibility of government to provide education to all citizens. Today this paradigm needs to be challenged and it deserves revision, if only for the fact that no African country is in a position to sustain it financially.

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