By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large
AS Zimbabweans, we carry the tag that we are amongst some of the world’s most educated and literate with pomp and pride. It is something that most of us always like to brag about.
But fact of the matter is that our highly regarded educational status is much like a gong in the wind. We have very little to show for all the long rolls of degrees and certificates that we have accumulated over the years.
It appears that our education is good for a showcase. Certainly, it has helped many of us speak well polished English but outside that there is zilch: it’s like shells and corpses. Much ado about nothing. We have become individuals of “distorted tastes, confused perception and resultless energy.”
The education that we are so proud of has largely resulted in the inhibition and domestication of the intentionality of our consciousness – in the process – deterring us from becoming fully human.
If anything, our so-called education has reduced most of us to become alienated functionaries with little originality and innovativeness to address the most significant social, political and economic problems in our communities.
For all our long educational degrees, we have no knowledge of our own customs and traditions. We know zilch about our culinary arts and folks or achievements that our people have made in the past. All these things contain coded messages that if properly decoded can help to reshape our philosophical worldview providing us with confidence to deal with our conditions in our own unique way.
Put simply, our education has only served us to fit neatly into some proletariat structure without equipping us with the tools, knowledge and skills required to reshape our historical circumstances. Instead, it instils within most of us a profound sense of alienation from our communities nurturing a split personality.
Essentially, our educational system has alienated us from our ontology or sense of being a human being. What has been planted has given birth to a duality of some sort where the so-called educated’s essential sense of being is often suppressed by the acquired education. Yet that acquired education is not sufficient enough to held the individual to influence the reality round them.
For progress’s sake, we need to rediscover our consciousness apart from the education that has been implanted in us. We need an educational system that takes into account our own view of the world and equips us with tools to shape those viewpoints. We need to undergo an educational rehabilitation process of some sort that repositions us as the centre of our being and instils confidence within us to influence the conditions of our lives.
Of course, one cannot talk of Zimbabwe’s education without referring to colonialism which sought to superimpose its systems upon us. But this realisation should even make it more urgent to engage in authentic re-acculturation.