Answer to Question #162325 in Philosophy for Zee

Question #162325

Write an essay of not more than 5 typed pages (10 marks per page, Bibliography excluded) 

on the following topic:

The nature of an African philosophy of education.

Structure your essay as follows:

1. Introduction to the essay where you indicate what the African Renaissance and the 

problem of establishing an African identity mean for education on the African continent. 


2. Body of the essay where you should deal with the following: The contribution that African 

philosophy can make to education in terms of:

o uBuntu (10)

o Communality (10)

o Indigenous African knowledge systems and what they are. (10)

o Indigenous African knowledge systems and African education systems. (10)

3. Conclusion to the essay where you indicate what a relevant African philosophy of  education would be directed at. No new sources or new information should be added to  the conclusion. (5)

4. Bibliography (Below are some references that you should consult in completing your  essay. You may of course add any additional references to this list. Remember that your  bibliography should be in alphabetical order).

Expert's answer

To begin with, education for an African Renaissance pursues to advance issues that education in a non-racial, democratic, on-sexist society ought to tackle. Such education promotes a collective sense of efficacy while positioning nationhood at center-stage, and thus, eradicating once and for all of Africa’s inferiority complex that stands out to be a stumbling block (Motsaathebe, 2011). It is against this background, therefore, this paper has discussed the concept of African Philosophy, its contributions in the field of education in terms of Ubuntu, and communality. Besides, it scrutinized African Indigenous Knowledge Systems and the differences between Indigenous Knowledge Systems and African Education Systems. 

Notably, Ubuntu means love, truth, peace, happiness, eternal optimism, and inner goodness. Ubuntu is the spirit of a human being. It is the divine spark of goodness intrinsic within each humanity. Ubuntu provides a solid logical base for the community, and people ought to view a school as a community. Collectivism related to coherence and collaboration means working for the good of the whole, is based on a lasting vision, rather than the benefit of continually altering individuals (Chitumba, 2013). Applying the essential values of Ubuntu such as sharing, humanness, compassion, caring, and respect progresses the humane character of students, and thus, become better leaders of tomorrow in our fast globalizing world.

In African culture, the community at all times comes first. The individual is born into and out of the community. All humanity will continuously be part and parcel of the community. The concept of communalism promotes interdependence and sensitivity towards others, loving them, caring for others are all aspects of Ubuntu as a philosophy of life (Chitumba, 2013). Many African schools have embraced all these aspects of Ubuntu Philosophy. Therefore, students realize that their differences make them rich through sharing and enriching themselves from one another. 

Moreover, African Indigenous Knowledge Systems establish a corporation of various disciplines and interconnecting value systems and epistemologies together, by African societies that have established ways and paradigms of existence in ancestral lands. The systems include knowledge created within native societies, sovereign of, and before, the arrival of the modern scientific knowledge systems. Notably, the systems were experiential knowledge based on culture and worldview that was fundamentally interactive. The spirit of the African worldview comprised of community, wholeness, and synchronization which were and are deeply entrenched in cultural values and norms. Remarkably, African Indigenous Knowledge Systems promotes five principles of preparationism, communalism, functionalism, holisticism, and perennialism. The five components have been integrated into African Education Systems. For instance, learning through apprenticeship (Mawere, 2010). Therefore, through such methods applied, students will be able to apply the skills acquired if they will face a similar challenge shortly. 

Finally, African Philosophy has contributed marvelously in the field of education in terms of Ubuntu, communality, and in African Indigenous Knowledge Systems and the overall African Education Systems. Hence, the African Education Systems produce all-around students who can fit anywhere in the global world. 


Chitumba, W. (2013). University education for personhood through Ubuntu

philosophy. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 3(5), 1268-1276.

Mawere, M. (2010). Indigenous knowledge systems’ (IKSS) potential for establishing a moral,

virtuous Society: lessons from selected ikss in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa12(7), 209-221.

Motsaathebe, G. (2011). Journalism education and practice in South Africa and the discourse of

the African Renaissance. Communication37(3), 381-397.


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