Captives of the Continent

By Sirak Solomun, 21, who is studying English and Eritrean Literature at the Adi Keih College of Arts and Social Science. He lives in Asmara, Eritrea. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” – Victor Hugo.

Once, before thousands of years man lived in savage communities, where his first tools were the spear and hunting trap. Where he ate vegetable foods in which he found them in his surroundings. However, in the course of time man improved his implements to bow, arrow, and fishing nets. Besides he supplant his early cave and rock shelter with more sophisticated modern artificial houses. In a span of a time man became less dependent on the day to day fortunes and change his way of life to agriculture, then to industrialization and then to today’s world.

Man traversed a long and arduous way in order to reach contemporary development and industrialization. But, unfortunately, the contemporary industrialization is only confined in a very small part of the world. Only a person can find sophisticated development in North America, some part of Europe and some part of Asia. And one can also find mounting improvements in other part of the world. But Africa is an exception to this kind of development, except for few countries, almost all the countries of the continent are still in the agricultural stage, in which they are one step behind from the global race.

Which will then raise a question why only this part of the world is lagging behind, are the Americans, Europeans or Asians  ‘epic-minded’ and the Africans ‘idle-minded’? Did the Europeans receive some sort of knack of developments from ‘Higher-Authority’? Or is it a curse or predestined fate that Africa is falling behind in progress and developments? The answers for the above questions are, bluntly No.

The Europeans or Americans reached today’s stage because they have schools who taught their individuals to be self-respecting, self-reliant and efficient–to care for their society, to play their part to bear the burdens of the world in their shoulders, to assist themselves by adding to the happiness of others. In which it will then serve to upsurge the human efficiency, render invaluable progresses and developments to their society and shut down the prison of ineptitude, inefficiency and maladroitness.

Education is nothing but imparting knowledge or skill through the gradual process of learning. It is a beacon illuminating the road to further development, growth and prosperity. It enables individuals to march onward, enlightening ever new sides of innovation.  So, it is only education that can work as a valuable instrument to remove individuals from the chains of prison.

It is through education that individuals transform objects existing in nature into more productive and fruitful goods. Not only has this but individuals also, through education, can create objects which are not available in ready-made form in the world. Laconically, education is a super powerful instrument that accelerates the development, growth and prosperity of any society and closes any prison of inefficiency, illiteracy, and ignorance.

Due regard to the nature, Africa as a continent is blessed with many natural resources but unfortunately almost all the member states are the captives of poverty, ignorance and obliviousness. Not only Africans fail to utilise their natural resources appropriately to their further development but they also fail to properly exploit their human resources through proper education, which hamper the continent to hastily pace forward.

Contrasting from the rest of the world in the past century Africa witness as many scourge and baneful wars, economic depressions, brain drains and other things. Besides until this moment African scholastic institutions are not much competitive with the other institutions of the world and more importantly they don’t render a momentous innovation to the world as of the rest continents. Africa as a continent is struggling in generating and producing individuals with novel ideas, which can aid the continent to be a global competitive player and this is due to the evident fact that the schools that are unbolted in this continent are schools which can’t release individuals from the prisons of inefficiency, illiteracy, and ignorance.

When God create human beings, he created all-of-them the same. God doesn’t create Europeans or American’s as extraordinary individuals and African’s as unexceptional individuals. The point that paves a way for Europeans or American’s to become highly developed and for the African’s to become exceedingly underdeveloped is the schools they open to their individuals.

In the case of Europe or America, they possess schools who taught their individuals to be self-respecting, self-reliant and efficient. And as such they hit two birds with a same stone, one they produce individuals who are competent enough to yield and herald something new to the world and on top of that they craft individuals who are self-confident, proficient, tolerant to any differences, cognizant and cautious to all the laws of the land. While in the case of Africa the situation is different, schools taught individuals on the other way round.

In Africa individuals aren’t taught as independent and self-innovative individuals rather they are taught for social purposes. And consistent with this Elbert Hubbard once alleged that education for social purposes isn’t of any more use than a razor purchased for a like use. An education which merely fits a person to prey on society, and occasionally slash it up, is a predatory preparation for a life of uselessness, and closes no prison. Rather it opens a prison and takes captive at least one man.

In the end of it all, Hugo was endeavouring to expound the fact that we close prison of witlessness and illiteracy by simply opening a school, a school which make individuals free from the shackles and handcuffs of ignorance and that tends to augment human efficiency. Hubbard admitted the fact that the safest way by which we can raze the existent prisons are by teaching individuals or children’s to work, play, laugh, study, think, and yet again work.

7 comments on “Captives of the Continent

  1. Natu on

    It becomes unindisputable fact that Africa is lagging behind, actually among other things, because the member states which form the continent fail to establish a well erected schools who tought their students to think critically, students who are well efficent. Sirak, candidly you articulated the essay in a way which is brife, consice and understandable. You deserve to win.

  2. Winti on

    Genuinely, all African individuals need to read as a matter of course it will enable them to discern what their schools has to look like in order to save them from internal and external imprisonment and more prominantly to save the whole continent from deblitating

  3. Winti on

    Genuinely, all African individuals need to read this as a matter of course it will enable them to discern what their schools has to look like in order to save them from internal and external imprisonment and more prominantly to save the whole continent from deblitating


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter!