How colonialism disrupted Nigeria’s human technological growth, by Aregbesola
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola yesterday declared that Nigeria is historically destined to be the beacon of hope for Africa and the black race, but colonialism caused the country more harm than good, especially in its technological development
He stated this while delivering the 27th convocation lecture of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) in Ikorodu titled, “Infrastructural Deficit and Technological Development in Nigeria: The Role of Technical Education.”
He lamented that a country so blessed with huge human and natural resources, as well as cultural heritage was still staggering and unable to find its feet in the comity of nations, blaming the education policy introduced by the colonial government for the instability.
Wondering why, when and how the country lost the rich and ennobling tradition and now looked so blank and bland in the great technological march, he stressed that the answer was not farfetched.
His words: “Colonialism disarticulated the socio-political economy of the societies it met; delinked and disarticulated the ancient educational system as well and threw us in the maelstrom of human development.
“The worst impact of colonialism, however, is that it violently disrupted the system of transmitting knowledge and skills and replaced it with abstract knowledge that does not address the existential needs of the man in the society.
“The education the colonial government brought did not address the problems and challenges of the people the way our forefathers did. It then happens that by the time we got into the technology business, we are neither Western nor traditional.
“Whereas for knowledge to benefit a people, it must come from their own culture, even when it is borrowed from other cultures, it has to be domesticated and be in the language the people speak and understand, for it to be well taught, well-received, well understood and put into use.”
Stressing the need to rethink polytechnic education in Nigeria, Aregbesola said quality technical education was capable of accelerating technological development in the country, considering its unlimited opportunities.
He further regretted the present state of infrastructure in the country and the need to bridge the yawning gap, noting that the deficits are evident in virtually every aspect of human life, insisting that due to the development, polytechnics were unable to fulfill their mandate.
Aregbesola also urged managers of polytechnic education to partner government and corporate organisations in preparing their students to take greater responsibilities in nation-building.