Tue | Nov 28, 2023

How do we decolonise education?

Published:Saturday | October 1, 2022 | 12:07 AM


Education is one of the solid foundations on which great nations are built. Some of the current buzz words relating to education are ‘transformation in education’, ‘innovation in education’ and ‘decolonising education’.

Decolonisation is the process of undoing colonial practices. Within the educational context, this means confronting and challenging the colonial practices that have influenced education in the past, and which are still present today.

I read with keen interest Louis Moyston’s letter ‘Time to decolonise education’ published in The Gleaner on September 28, and was disappointed because he did not list or cite any examples of colonial practices in education which are retarding individual and national development.

Are these colonial practices related to curriculum/content, disciplinary measures, teacher training, qualification and remuneration and methodology employed in educating and evaluating pupils and students? What about the current or recommended teacher-student ratio and elements of elitism in education?

Moyston wrote about the need for a new philosophy but failed to even briefly inform us of the colonial philosophy which we should get rid of and the new Jamaican philosophy which we should embrace. Should Jamaican Patois, for example, be the language of instruction in the classrooms even if English remains the official language?

Is every aspect of the education system which we inherited from the colonial masters undesirable? Or are there beneficial aspects which we should best retain and reset?

I look forward to Moyston being more concrete in his objections and the practical suggestions he will share to decolonise education.