What is an African curriculum?
This is fundamental question that takes into consideration the place, perspective and orientation that needs to be addressed in any reconceptualisation of a curriculum. When thinking about the transformation of curricula, it is also vita’l to answer the following questions:
- Does an African curriculum mean simply adding new items to an existing curriculum?
- Does it mean adopting the reverse approach in which we rethink how the object of study itself is constituted?
A curriculum also determines the academic formation of a new generation, it helps to create people who think in a particular way about particular subjects and talk about them in a particular language and idiom. Our young leaders – who form part of the team who are keen on nurturing a curriculum specific for African students, the African Baccalaurette, explore the idea further.
The African Baccalaureate (AfBac) was an original idea for development in ALA’s Student Enterprise Program during 2013-14. AfBac was born out of its founders’ frustrations with current systems of education across Africa and the emphasis placed on rote memorization, grades, and assessments. They envisioned a pan-African curriculum geared towards the holistic development of young people to become critical-thinkers and innovators.
Over the course of 2014-15, the AfBac team worked on a skill sheet comprising the different skills and aspects of education that needed to be covered for the average African secondary school student. They finalized their research by piloting some aspects of their curriculum on the ALA campus. This year, the current team comprised of Sisipho Zinja, Haitham Abdelhakim, Amadou Diallo, Ibrahim Tamale, Zachariah Jambo and Efua Agyare-Kumi plans to focus on the teaching methods as opposed to the curriculum content and seek to design a toolkit that will harness passions and skills necessary for the innovative African youth.
Each member’s role is specified as follows:
As Team Director, Sisipho is responsible for managing operations, marketing strategies, enterprise partnerships, the establishment and creation of enterprise culture, managing their human resources and overall success. Creative Content Director, Haitham is responsible for the facilitation and overseeing the idea generation and content creation processes. He is also responsible for visually representing the enterprise’s identity, developing creative programs and design concepts. As the administration officer, Amadou is responsible for maintaining day to day financial, accounting, administrative and personnel services in order to meet legislative requirements and support municipal operations. The data management officer, Ibrahim is in charge of all documentation and files in AfBac. He collects all files, notes, documents of the enterprise and also handles the finances of the enterprise and makes sure that Afbac’s expenses are in line with the budget. As the Strategic Relations Officer for Afbac, Zachariah is responsible for establishing and strengthening relationships with other Student Enterprises that are in the same field of interest. He is also responsible for advertising the Afbac brand on campus and ensuring that members of the ALA community are aware of what Afbac is about and what its goals, mission, and vision are. As the Marketing Officer, Efua is responsible for formulating marketing and advertising strategies that are ensure the success of Afbac. This involves making decisions on how to make the curriculum attractive and which countries would be ideal for installation.
The overall mission is to develop innovative youth by designing an unconventional education system that rivals international standards and debunks myths around what Africa is capable of achieving. The curriculum would be relevant and use the experiential learning approach to build skills and harness passion with the vision to one day see a prosperous Africa driven by innovative young agents of positive change.
“Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” – African Proverb