Colonialism of Mind: Deterrent of Social Transformation – The Experiences of Oromo People in Ethiopia
Title: Colonialism of Mind: Deterrent of Social Transformation – The Experiences of Oromo People in Ethiopia
Author: Begna F. Dugassa (Toronto Public Health, Toronto, Canada)
Published: Sociology Mind Vol.1, No.2, 2011, pp. 55-64
Keywords: colonial education, colonial knowledge, empowering education, disempowering education and indoctrination
An educational system and its curricula are shaped by the culture and epistemology in which it is embedded. It is influenced by the societal knowledge, but it also instrumental in shaping the knowledge of the society. Culture influences learning style. Based on cultural diversities and social needs, different societies have distinct curricula. As such, Oromo students ought to be taught now to interrogate the colonial epistemology and ideology as well schooled in the ways of dismantling the hegemony. However, in many cases, they are simply taught to reproduce the knowledge, culture, power structure, thinking and the worldview of colonizers. This means that education, which is supposed to be about critical inquiry and social transformation has been used to indoctrinate or brainwash some students. Such colonial educational curricula have invalidated the knowledge of indigenous Oromo people and compromised their needs. This type of education system, instead of empowering the students and their society, has incapacitated them. For the Oromo people, such curricula have distorted their history, image, identity, and damaged their social fabric. In this paper I argue that, colonial knowledge and education system is not in a position to bring about social transformation among Oromo people; on the contrary it disrupts their peace (nagaa), health (fayya) and (tasgabii) social order.