The term education has got a lot of definitions. Different scholars in the world give different definitions in trying to capture the subject matter. Some scholars like Snelson (1974:1) define education as a condition of human survival. It is the means where by one generation transmits the wisdom, knowledge and experience which prepares the next generation for life’s duties and pleasure.
Although this definition may not cater or address all the issues raised in education, it helps us to have a wide knowledge about all aspects of education. This also helps us to act with more insight and more intelligence in molding the youths in an acceptable manner. As human beings, the kind ...view middle of the document...
The purpose of education in the traditional African society was to set afoot a man with functional skills that would help him live peacefully among others and contributes his quota to the overall development of himself and his community. Fafunwa (1974) observed, “Society used to accord priority to the inculcation of values of “social responsibility, political participation, job orientation and spiritual and moral uprightness in the citizens”. He further opines learnt that children by doing, that is to say, children and adolescents engaged in participatory education through ceremonies, rituals, imitation, recitation, and demonstration. They were involved in practical farming, fishing, weaving, cooking, carving, knitting, and so on. Recreational subjects included wrestling, dancing, drumming, acrobatic display, while intellectual training included the study of local history, legends, environment (local geography, plants, and animals),poetry, reasoning, riddles, proverbs, story-telling and story with -relays.
Education in Old Africa was an integrated experience. It combined physical training with character-building and manual activity with intellectual.
According to Ibia (2009), traditional Nigerian education had four main areas of interests, namely; economic, social, religious and cultural.
This consisted of those things that equipped the individual to exploit his natural environment to provide food, clothing, shelter and protection for himself and his dependents.
This involved proper upbringing of the child to enable him becomes a worthy member of the society and to live functionally with others.
The religious aspect of indigenous education catered for man’s moral and emotional needs and enabled him to form his attitude to life and to the world in general.
The cultural spheres of interest led the individual to creative activity which fostered in him aesthetic sensibilities in the use of language, facility music, art ornamentation, and dexterity in dancing and ceremony.
Aim of indigenous Education
Ibia (2009) opines that traditional Nigerian Education was very pragmatic, designed as a gateway into the life of the community. There was little room for theoretical abstraction. It inculcated in the individual a sense of responsibility to become a contributory member of the community and share the value and culture of the community. Fafunwa (1974) identifies seven cardinal goals of traditional African education as;
1. To develop the child’s latent physical skills.
2. To develop character.
3. To inculcate respect for elders and those in position of authority.
4. To develop intellectual skills.
5. To acquire specific vocational training and to develop a healthy attitude towards honest labour.
6. To develop a sense of belonging and to participate actively in family and community affairs.
7. To understand, appreciate and promote the cultural heritage...