EMMANUEL MUTISYA NGUI
SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM, UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
SUPERVISOR: DR. GATHIGI
What is the place of consciousness in a developing context like Kenya?
How can consciousness contribute to development agenda?
239- Education for Critical Consciousness – Paulo Freire/1969
44- Excerpt from: Pedagogy of the Oppressed- Paulo Freire/ 1970.
87-89,91 Excerpts from: Theatre of the Oppressed- Augusto Boal /1974
175- Communication in the pedagogy of Paulo Freire. – Jose M De Melo/1979
Paulo Freire looks into the education of the poor people with the fundamentals of a system that point to the educational process that focuses on the students’ environment. Freires approach that learners must understand their own reality as part of their learning activity introduces education as an everyday practice and not necessarily a classroom matter
When we speak of there is no such thing as a neutral education process then we are actually saying that education is a system that was created to impose individualistic ideologies to serve certain selfish interests as such as those of capitalists in a globalizing world.
Freire further narrates how education functions both as an instrument used to facilitate social integration among persons of different generations to achieve uniformity that helps them operate in a shared environment as one social system.
This opens up to the argument that students or learners do not have a place to decide how education will influence their thinking in a developing context as such as in Kenya. The impact of education if pre-determined as a force that is supposed to shape scholars and participants in a certain way that forces them to conform to certain rules, standards and cultures that direct them to perform in particular ways. Education hereby does not pay respect to the self-consciousness of its consumers; rather, consumers relentlessly take it in as a substance they believe will contribute to their personal development.
In the argument, I agree that education is and can continue to be used as a tool to empower the more at risk communities in society to achieve a decent sense of humanity. Therefore, education serves a primary role of liberating its embracers from the colonialism and neo-colonialism eras among other seasonal changes emerging with globalization.
Nevertheless, individuals must be active participants for liberation to occur hereby demonstrating that education intends to play the role of a community empowerment to grant people the power to access freedom. Active participation brings about achievable inclusion for local communities to take part in development processes such as planning, decision making and hereby brings a sense of ownership in the practice of development success stories.
Development in Kenya is highly influenced by capitalists and on another extreme the private sector. According to Freire argument on oppression, I agree that as much as the local community is highly responsible for their own development, it is equally significant that the capital owners who control the speed of education development among the less fortunate in developing societies also priotize the needs of these individuals.
The role of consciousness in developing countries like Kenya therefore fails to come out strongly as a key factor to determine the key voices of control when it comes to development. The voice belongs to the capital owners and with little or no respect, ideologies and strategies will continue to be imposed on a growing needy society.
The lack of clear definition of consciousness among citizens of a developing country also means that seemingly people do not know what they want, rather, the capital owners understand their needs better and will therefore direct what, what and where certain developments should take place. It is like the approach of a donor, where the donor willingly funds a fertilizer project for farmers to serve their own interest such as recognition among poor members of a community whose main issue is accessing eater for irrigation.