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30.05.2017 13:57 Alter: 24 days

Education and Africa's Transformation

Call for Papers

Theme: Education and Africa's Transformation
Type: 7th Toyin Falola Annual Conference on Africa and the African Diaspora
Institution: Adeyemi College of Education
Location: Ondo (Nigeria)
Date: 3.–5.7.2017
Deadline: 15.6.2017


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

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

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

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

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

I. Decolonization of Education in Africa

1. Pre-colonial education in Africa
2. Education during colonial systems
3. Indigenous knowledge systems (including technology) and
  transformation in Africa
4. Language and education
5. Culture, religion and education
6. Decolonization of education and social transformation in Africa

II. Education for Development: Philosophy, Theory and Practice

1. Theoretical issues in education and development
2. Curricula matters and the search for transformation in Africa
3. Pedagogy of teaching and education in Africa
4. Interdisciplinary studies and education in Africa
5. Teacher education and transformation in Africa
6. Ethical issues in education
7. Student-teacher relations
8. Assessments of education quality
9. Academic freedom
10. Teacher-student dynamics in African education
11. Philosophy of Education and Education Paradigms

III. Relevant Education for Integrated Global and National Interests

1. Local relevance and global competitiveness of programs
2. Globalization and educational transformation in Africa 
3. Education and technological transformation
4. Vocational and technical education and training (VTET) and
  Africa’s transformation
5. The diaspora and Africa’s educational transformation
6. STEM education and Africa’s transformation
7. Education and teaching methods
8. The state of education
9. Language education
10. Education in Africa and teaching methods

IV. Development and Politics of Education

1. The state and education in Africa
2. Impact of conflict and wars on education
3. Education and the quality of political leadership in Africa
4. Crises: Cultism, student insurrections, and the academic staff

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

1. Financing education in Africa from a historical perspective
2. Funding and education in Africa
3. Role of development agencies
4. The growing trends in private secondary and tertiary education in
5. Polygamy: The role of Polygyny and Polyandry in education of
6. National budgeting for education and the transformation of Africa

VI. Education and Development Planning

1. Comprehensive revision of educational programs
2. Regional/Comparative analysis of ‎education
3. The roles of national, state and local governments in education
4. Infrastructure and education
5. Role of education research in social transformation
6. Education and planning
7. Education and Africa’s economic growth
8. Basic/Primary education and Africa’s transformation
9. Secondary education and Africa’s transformation
10. Tertiary education and Africa’s transformation
11. Interdependencies of education and the library systems
12. Philosophy of Education and Education Paradigms in Africa

VII. Democracy, Political Development and Education

1. Democratizing education in Africa
2. Politicizing education in Africa
3. Teacher/Academic staff unions and the transformation of Africa
4. Education inequalities
5. Continuous education and professional development
6. Major African scholars of education and educationists (e.g., Babs
Fafunwa, Toyin Falola, Emmanuel Yoloye) and educational transformation

VIII. Education for Empowerment and Employment

1. Technology, education and transformation in Africa
2. Employability of University products
3. Education, employment and job creation issues
4. Education and entrepreneurship
5. Education and youth empowerment
6. The humanities and Africa’s transformation

IX. Education as Human Rights

1. Education as human rights
2. The Sustainable Development Goals and the right to education
3. Educating the girl-child
4. Gender issues in education
5. Adult education
6. Sexuality and education
7. Children’s health and education outcomes in Africa
8. Disability and education in Africa
9. Poverty of education
10. 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 June 15th, 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:
- Participants from other African countries, USA, Europe and Asia:

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


Dr Samuel Akintunde
Deputy Provost
Adeyemi College of Education
Phone: +234 703 3204788
Email: samakrose(at)