DEBATING: Radical solutions for ending ‘educational poverty’
Would segregated free schools produce better educational outcomes for Africans in Britain?
Dear Pan-African sister, brother and friend, are you a fool? “Only a fool would let the enemy teach their children.” At least, that’s what Malcolm X said. Or are we just ignorant to the fact that 47 years after Bernard Coard exposed the British school system for creating educational sub-normality in Caribbean children, the system is still failing them?
We all know that educational disparity is the result of “stereotyping; low teacher expectations; exclusions and head teachers with poor leadership on equality issues” (Demie, 2003). Plus, and worse still, tiptoeing around tackling the structural racism that targets African and African Caribbean students and teachers. So the solution is obvious; Pan-African schools for African and African Caribbean children. Create institutions based on our history, our ideologies and methodologies, headed by African teachers. However, in practice how do the British Pan-African community go about setting up its own racially segregated schools? How will it agree on fair and transparent policies around admissions, funding and ideology? Does such an idea have the full backing of the community? In addition, where is the empirical evidence to suggest that a segregated learning environment produces better results? Is it not our 50 year history of supplementary education that has provided the perfect blend of African centered education with state education? Is there are a risk of further alienating African children by creating skills gaps that further exclude them from the economy?
Join us for an evening of intellectual debate where we’ll have four of Britain’s leading figures on education unpick these questions and motion. We’re calling for radical solutions, and a shared vision on the educational reforms that our community must work towards to eradicate these disparities and shocking attainment lags we find in our talented young boys and girls.
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