Waghid’s Description of African Philosophy of Education
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Dec 16th, 2019

Waghid’s Description of African Philosophy of Education

The first characteristic of African philosophy is that it requires us to be reasonable when thinking about and discussing matters of importance. His point is here is that in as much as one is willing to give clear, logical and defensible arguments, there should as well be a demonstration of willingness to listen to others. One does not have to be passive in accepting the views or questions of others which they ask from their preoccupations.

The second characteristic is that the African philosophy of education requires us to demonstrate moral maturity. His views are that it expects one to develop a sense of responsibility towards the community by acquiring virtues of honesty, faithfulness, duty and empathy and the well-being of others. He also emphasizes that African philosophy of education demonstrate the potential to promote justice, courage and truthfulness in the individuals. In other words, an African philosophy of education is aiming to contribute to the transformation of serious educational conversations in Africa. This is would be done through empowering the communities ‘participation in their educational development that could be achieved through whatever intellectual skills they pose to eliminate African problems.

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The third characteristic of an African philosophy of education requires us to be willing to deliberate with others on matters of importance, such as be in dialogue with others and so on. This involves giving your views and be willing to listening to what others have to say, for this allows the voice of the people of the minorities or marginalized to be heard rather than for them to remain muted on issues affecting them. He clarifies it that a legitimate dialogue can occur when the views expressed gives room for objections and critiques no matter their level with a purpose to reach a common agreement.

Question 2

Education is believed to play a vital role in individuals as well as in society as a whole. Parents send their children to school with the hope that that they will be better people. In this assignment, the purpose of education in the context of contemporary southern Africa will be explored.

Each sector is established with a purpose and the education sector is not an exception. There are many expectations that are documented in the forms of policies. As Wirendu (2004) in Waghid’s article argues that education should be able to make one knowledgeable and be able to make better decisions. I support his view since education needs to make people aware of what is happening around them and globally too. This has to begin by them knowing how to read and write, then the individuals will be able to explore on their own to get more information themselves.

Education should liberate the mind from ignorance which overclouds the mind. It should liberate the people from the superstition which blind the vision of the truth. Not overruling waghid’s point on the existence or of spiritualism, many Africans were taken for granted by the westerns and they fall prey to colonialism.

The South African constitution emphasizes that the critical purpose of education is to transform society. It declared education as a human right for the good of the public. Considering the injustice done in southern Africa during the colonial era, I believe education needs to transform the people’s mind from colonized mentality to decolonized mind. Supporting the views of The South African Schools Act (SASA, 1996) stated that the national system needs to redress past injustices in educational provision and provide the platform to redress past injustices in the educational provision.

These are such as developing each person’s talents and capabilities, the transformation of the social order, combating racism, sexism, and unfair discrimination, providing for diversity, the advancement of the human right culture and developing responsibility among school communities.

The purpose of education to produce people with morals and character. Martin Luther Jr. (1947) stated that the most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals. I am supporting his point because education needs to shape people character and morals, not losing their identity in society. However, the type of education received today, shape the children to imitate the western cultures and in the process misplacing their identities.

The question to ask is the education being taught in Africa compatible with their way of living? Whose culture is emphasized most? Supporting Waghid (2004:59) he pointed out that “an educated person has acquired virtues of honesty, faithfulness, duty, and empathy for the well being of the community”. However, all the characters in the above statement are acquired, but the fact remains that, the citizens are shaped to fit in a different community which results in disunity and migration.

The purpose of education is to produce critical thinkers. Education needs to challenge one to be able to challenge and analyze facts. However, with the experiences, the implementation does not allow enough time for the learners to think at the early stage. Educators are given the syllabi and the time frame in which they should finish. Therefore, the educators plan to finish the syllabi so that they will not be penalized, learners end up turned into receivers only.

This can be proven by the results of external examinations. A lot of citizens are grade ten and twelve failures because they are not trained to analyze and critically think during classroom instruction. Supporting Martin Luther King Jr. (1947), views that stated that the function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.

The purpose of education is to prepare citizens to be employable and innovative who are able to improve economic results. The curriculum needs to address the job market available in society. However, poverty plays a role in many not attending high institution such as low economic status. To some extent, some citizens chose to be uneducated due to laziness to learn. For those that finished till high institutions, not all the graduates are employable. This is because of the job market requires only a few people or the employable standards are high in the industry. The question purpose of education is for citizens to be employable, why there is still a high rate of unemployment among the graduates? Is education serving its purpose?

In conclusion, I believe that there are many purposes of education not stated in this assignment. I have discovered that for education to serve its purpose there are a lot of works to be done yet. There many challenges which need to take us back to review the kind of education we get and how it serve our society.


  1. Dr. Martin L.Jr (1947) Morehouse College Paper. The Maroon Tiger
  2. The Republic of South Africa. (1996). Constitution of the Republic of South Africa: Pretoria: Government Printer.
  3. Waghid.Y. (2004). Department of Educational Policy Studies. The University of Stellenbosch. South Africa. [email protected] (pp;56-64)

Question 3

The description of the philosophy that seems to lie behind the practices at my school.

At Urban primary school, there is more than one philosophy that seems to be behind the practices. These are perennials, essentialism, and progressivism. However, essentialism is more dominant. Learners are in a displaced way, the way the teacher does it it must be done that way. Learners walk in lines from the assemblies to their classes. There is no room for the learners’ views.
Furthermore, in the teachers’ conduct, the management is running the school in an autocratic way. It is their way otherwise, the one who gives objection will be labeled as a bad person.

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