Indigenous African Education

Essay by MundyNamzUniversity, Bachelor's March 2014

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This essay is an attempt to discuss the content of indigenous education in Zambia stretching further on how it affected the various social, economic, political and technological activities of the people. Systematically, the paper will envisage to define the key concepts afterwhich a careful outline will be drawn on explaining the contents of indigenous African education and its impacts on the society.

What is education?

The term education has many definitions. According to Snelson (1974:1), education is "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." This definition 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 moulding the youths in an acceptable manner. As human beings, the kind of personality one becomes will depend very much on the home he/she is born into, on his parents, on his village in which they are brought up.

Kelly (1999:1) defines education as a lifelong process in which the older generation impart skills, values and knowledge into the young ones for their own survival. "Education is not the same as schooling, but it is a life long process conducted by many agencies". Education is the action exercised by adult generation on those who are not yet ready for social life. In the African context, it can thus be argued that education existed for as long as human beings started living in their societies in Africa. This type of education is known as indigenous African education or traditional African education, which existed in Africa way back before the coming of the missionaries.


Indigenous education is a process of passing the inherited knowledge, skills, cultural traditions...