Friday, May 26, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - TOFAC 2017 CONFERENCE ³Education and Africa¹s Transformation²



CFP "Education and Africa's Transformation"


Venue: Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Nigeria


Monday, July 3 to Wednesday July 5, 2017 (Arrrival Sunday, 2 July, 2017, departure July 6th)



Education in Africa has remained perpetually under intense focus due to the unrelenting crises in the sector occasioned by its incapacities, inefficiencies, contradictions, inequalities and inequities and a general failure to advance the vision of the African people for a better future. The optimism that greeted political independence for the possibility of an African primacy in global leadership has largely been stymied by the failure of development to take off on an upward trajectory, signaled especially by the inability of education to address the continent's development challenges. From Cairo to the Cape, the symptoms of these crises are multifaceted and hydra-headed. Today, nearly 50 percent of Africans are under the age of 15, but of Africa's population of nearly 128 million school age children, up to 17 million will never attend school, while another 37 million will be "in school but not learning." The Brookings Institution further estimates that in countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Zambia, more than 50 percent of children finish primary school without learning the basic skills that they need to learn at that age. A whopping 61 million children, almost half of sub-Saharan Africa's school age population, arrive at adolescence without the skills to lead productive lives, thereby constituting a permanent deficit to the continent's development aspirations. In spite of soaring unemployment continent-wide and the weak potential of technical and vocational educational and training to attenuate this problem, UNESCO/World Bank figures indicate that this constituted only about 6 percent of secondary school enrollment in 2012. Although enrollment in higher education institutions more than doubled in Africa between 2000 and 2010, this accounts for only 6 percent of African young people, compared to the global average of 26 percent. Startlingly, UNESCO and World Bank calculations show that a one-year increase in average tertiary education levels would raise annual GDP growth in Africa by 0.39 percentage points, and eventually yield up to a 12 percent increase in per capita GDP. But no nation can rise above the quality and the quantity of its teachers, and virtually all the African countries gained independence with neither a pool of well-trained teachers nor adequate teachers' training colleges and universities. The colonial education policy was simply to provide a pool of indigenous second-class assistants to the colonial officials. The relationship between education and economic growth, robust development, and the expected transformation of Africa is thus established in consideration of all the above variables.

The aim of this conference is to review all the history and different facets of education in Africa, from past to present. The education of each era will be related to the context that it served. Participants will look at the markers and boundaries as each era changes, disintegrates and new agencies of change emerge. The idea is to see education as a key transformational agency, with the capacity to affect the superstructure and philosophical orientations around which the development of any nation stands. The foundation of modern society is related to the revolution in education. For instance, the era of the Enlightenment in Europe resulted in dramatic changes in how politics, economy and the society in general were organized. In contemporary times, advancements in science and technology have constituted a defining distinction between developed and less developed regions of the world. Pre-colonial Africa had a rich heritage in education that was enshrined in the highly sophisticated indigenous knowledge systems of the peoples of the continent. From the citadel of knowledge in Timbuktu, Mali to the great power house of learning in ancient Egypt, Africa was home to centers of knowledge that helped shape the civilization of that era. Each African society's education system consisted of complex knowledge bases that served to sustain and develop African civilizations. These education systems reflected the capacity building of empires like the Yoruba and Kongo and the sustainability of decentralized systems like the Hausa City-States and Massai. However, with imperialism and colonization, Africa was recreated in the image of the colonialists. One of the ways through which this was done was the marginalization and in many instances the destruction of the indigenous knowledge systems and their replacement with the colonial ones. Consequently, from the late 19th century, education in Africa was designed to reflect the character of the colonialists both in language and in the content of learning. In essence, educational institutions were created to train Africans who will both work for and defend the interests of the colonialists. Paradoxically, more than five decades after gaining political independence, education in Africa continues to reflect the structure and content of the colonial system. This can be seen especially in the continuity of colonial languages of instruction and in the maintenance of curricula which speak more to the needs of the colonialists than the present realities in Africa. Can there be paradigm shifts?

Scholars have argued that one of the main challenges militating against the transformation of Africa is the content and character of the educational system bequeathed to the continent by the departed colonialists. Can we rethink the system?

Others have equally argued that the journey to transformation in Africa will remain an illusion until indigenous knowledge systems become part and parcel of the design, implementation and application of education on the continent. How can we make the indigenous relevant again? Furthermore, who is responsible for the transformation of education in Africa? South African students have taken their future in their own hands with the #FeesMustFall movement. On the other extreme, big donor organizations from outside the continent such as the Carnegie Corporation have intervened in the continent's educational landscape. Increasingly special interests compete to establish private schools across Africa. These secular schools such as Chinese business and language schools, and parochial schools such as those by Evangelical and Islamic organizations, are quickly multiplying to meet these investors' economic or social agendas. What roles should teachers, governments, and parents amongst others play in the transformation of the continent through education? This conference will also seek particularly to explore trends, intersections, and links among the various variables that determine educational advancement and its transformatory potentials on the continent. Given the low level of development and the marginal position that Africa continues to occupy in the global arena, transformation remains pertinent. The role of quality education in achieving this objective is even more compelling. What forms and modes of education can produce the much needed transformation? Are there success stories in education transformation on the continent? Can we find lessons learnt that are applicable in a context-sensitive manner? Comparative analyses are particularly welcome, and papers that pay close attention to proffering policy and practice based solutions are encouraged.


This Conference on Education and Africa's Transformation will provide a platform for scholars in Africa and beyond to engage with various aspects of education and its links to transformation in Africa.


Papers, which speak to one or more of the following topics within bigger themes, are invited:


1.    Decolonization of Education in Africa

a.    Pre-colonial education in Africa

b.    Education during colonial systems

c.     Indigenous knowledge systems (including technology) and transformation in Africa

d.    Language and education

e.    Culture, religion and education

f.      Decolonization of education and social transformation in Africa

2.    Education for Development: Philosophy, Theory and Practice

a.    Theoretical issues in education and development

b.    Curricula matters and the search for transformation in Africa

c.     Pedagogy of teaching and education in Africa

d.    Interdisciplinary studies and education in Africa

e.    Teacher education and transformation in Africa

f.      Ethical issues in education

g.    Student-teacher relations

h.    Assessments of education quality

i.      Academic freedom

j.      Teacher-student dynamics in African education

k.    Philosophy of Education and Education Paradigms

3.    Relevant Education for Integrated Global and National Interests

a.    Local relevance and global competitiveness of programs

b.    Globalization and educational transformation in Africa 

c.     Education and technological transformation

d.    Vocational and technical education and training (VTET) and Africa's transformation

e.    The diaspora and Africa's educational transformation

f.      STEM education and Africa's transformation

g.    Education and teaching methods

h.    The state of education

i.      Language education

j.      Education in Africa and teaching methods

4.    Development and Politics of Education

a.    The state and education in Africa

b.    Impact of conflict and wars on education

c.     Education and the quality of political leadership in Africa

d.    Crises: Cultism, student insurrections, and the academic staff unionism


5.    Funding Education in Africa: Public-Private-Parent Partnerships

a.    Financing education in Africa from a historical perspective

b.    Funding and education in Africa

c.     Role of development agencies

d.    The growing trends in private secondary and tertiary education in Africa

e.    Polygamy: The role of Polygyny and Polyandry in education of Africans

f.     National budgeting for education and the transformation of Africa

6.    Education and Development Planning

a.    Comprehensive revision of educational programs

b.    Regional/Comparative analysis of education

c.    The roles of national, state and local governments in education

d.    Infrastructure and education

e.    Role of education research in social transformation

f.     Education and planning

g.    Education and Africa's economic growth

h.    Basic/Primary education and Africa's transformation

i.      Secondary education and Africa's transformation

j.      Tertiary education and Africa's transformation

k.    Interdependencies of education and the library systems

l.      Philosophy of Education and Education Paradigms in Africa

7.    Democracy, Political Development and Education

a.    Democratizing education in Africa

b.    Politicizing education in Africa

c.    Teacher/Academic staff unions and the transformation of Africa

d.    Education inequalities

e.    Continuous education and professional development

f.     Major African scholars of education and educationists (e.g., Babs Fafunwa, Toyin Falola, Emmanuel Yoloye) and educational transformation

8.    Education for Empowerment and Employment

a.    Technology, education and transformation in Africa

b.    Employability of University products

c.    Education, employment and job creation issues

d.    Education and entrepreneurship

e.    Education and youth empowerment

f.     The humanities and Africa's transformation

9.      Education as Human Rights

a.    Education as human rights

b.    The Sustainable Development Goals and the right to education

c.    Educating the girl-child

d.    Gender issues in education

e.    Adult education

f.     Sexuality and education

g.    Children's health and education outcomes in Africa

h.    Disability and education in Africa

i.      Poverty of education

j.      Education of poverty




The conference will take place from July 3-5, 2017 Arrival is Sunday, July 2, 2017 and Final Departure is Thursday, July 6, 2017


Prospective authors are invited to submit an abstract of 250 words on any of the themes stated above, as well as in related areas mutually agreeable with the organizers. Authors whose papers are accepted will be informed of further details about the conference. 

Abstracts should be received by May 1st 2017, while full papers are due immediately after the conference by August 30, 2017. Authors of abstracts that are accepted will pay a conference fee of N10,000 in Nigeria, and $150 if based in Europe or the United States. This non-refundable fee covers cost of conference bags, a dinner, and light refreshments.


Abstracts should be sent to the following email addresses:


Registration Fee: Upon acceptance of Abstract, a mandatory, non-refundable registration fee of:

 Participants from Nigeria: Ten thousand Naira (N10, 000)

Postgraduates from Nigeria: N4,000; from other African countries: $60.00

Participants from other African countries, USA, Europe and Asia: $100

 The registration fee covers conference bag, tag, note pads, pens, lunch and tea/coffee break throughout the conference duration.



Hotel rates & relevant information on Accommodation and Airport pick up will be supplied by the Logistic unit of the LOC in due course.



• The conference papers after presentation  and duly corrected by their authors will be peer-reviewed, and published by major international publishers.  


CHIEF HOST: Professor Koya Ogen, Provost, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Nigeria.


All Enquries to be directed to: 


Chair, LOC


Dr Samuel Akintunde

Deputy Provost, ACE


Toyin Falola
Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin
104 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712-0220
512 475 7224
512 475 7222 (fax)

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