From village schools to univer-cities: Rural-urban dynamics in education and knowledge production in Africa
Date and Start Time 30 June, 2017 at 09:00
Against the backdrop of high urban growth and the so called youth bulge in Sub Saharan Africa, this panel seeks to address rural-urban as well as intra-urban disparities on the macro-, meso-, and micro-level with respect to discourses and practices of education (from pre- primary to tertiary).
Africa has not only the highest urban growth rate in the world; with an average age of 19 years it is also the continent with the youngest population. Educational institutions are an important site for understanding young Africans' encounters with - and imaginations of - the rural and the urban. It is this site our panel focuses on.
The majority of children still enter primary education in rural areas and although primary net enrolment rates in sub-Saharan Africa have increased from 59% to 79% between 1999 and 2012, the transition rate to secondary education lies at 64% (the world average is 94%). However, only five percent of the relevant age cohort attends universities. Most private and public universities are located in their nation's capital serving as innovative "knowledge cities". At the same time, universities all over the continent establish branch campuses in more remote areas in order to provide access more evenly.
Our panel seeks to address rural-urban dynamics, as well as intra-urban inequalities, in education and knowledge production in Africa on the individual, institutional, societal and political level:
How are educational careers (of learners and teachers, males and females) framed by their rural/urban contexts and the dynamisms in between?
Which characteristics and models of rural and urban educational institutions mark the educational landscape nowadays (from pre-primary to tertiary, public and private)? How are they integrated in - and impact on - their rural/urban setting?
How is the rural and the urban presented in educational discourse and practice, perhaps reproducing rural-urban disparities?
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
A parallel system of learning: Rural community schools and the state in Zambia
This paper explores the conceptual division of state and society, as well as the implications of community participation and governance, within community schools in Zambia, where villages are encouraged to build, manage, and staff their own schools in the absence of government provision.
In Zambia, community schools have grown rapidly in the past two decades, representing a dramatic shift in how state and society are conceptualized in the field of education. These schools, built and managed by local villages and staffed by volunteer teachers, tap into historic notions of community self-help but have been rationalized into a model of liberalization of social services which seeks to "decenter" the state, and the radical democratic but also neoliberal concept of local participation in development. To date, nearly one fifth of all primary school students in the country attend community schools; in many ways, government and community schools constitute parallel systems which do not strictly follow but speak to an urban/rural divide across cities, towns, and villages.
This paper is a historical and contemporary look at the how the Zambian state has approached, managed, and governed community schools, drawing on political sociological theory of the state and governance. It seeks to explore how the provision of education has shaped the construction of state and society within Zambia, particularly in rural and remote areas where these schools are prominent. By maintaining a division between state and society, and calling on community involvement while utilizing tactics of registration and inspection, the Zambian state has maintained its authority over the provision of education while at the same time outsourcing the creation and management of schools to local communities. This paper is drawn from a dissertation of the same topic.
Expérience scolaire des écoliers de l'enseignement primaire et diversité des modèles de pratiques enseignantes au Rwanda.
Les données collectées en été 2016 par questionnaire (N=1838) montrent la construction de « cultures éducatives » locales dans le secteur de l’enseignement primaire. Le panorama, très différent selon les collectivités territoriales montre un secteur particulièrement sensible aux inégalités.
Au Rwanda, l'accès équitable à la scolarité primaire est presque réalisé selon le gouvernement : 97 % en 2015 (MINEDUC 2016) ]. Cependant les défis restent nombreux pour que tous les enfants bénéficient de l'égalité des chances. Ainsi peut-on citer un accès inégal à l'école primaire selon les régions et l'origine sociale [92% au Nord du pays et 87 % au Sud ; - 5% pour les enfants issus de la catégorie sociale la plus basse -(NISR 2016) ] et de meilleures conditions d'études dans les écoles privées, chères et principalement situées en ville (le taux d'enclassement y est de 31 élèves par classe contre 45 dans le public).
Les données collectées en été 2016 (un questionnaire sur l'expérience scolaire a été distribué dans 16 écoles rurales et 15 urbaines de Kigali - N= 1838_ pour ma thèse de doctorat) montrent que de nouvelles questions se posent depuis la mise en place de la politique gouvernementale qui vise à développer le pays sur la base de l'éducation de son capital humain en 2008. Elles mettent en évidence le poids des pratiques éducatives implicites qui constituent une partie importante des « cultures éducatives » locales dans un secteur particulièrement sensible et prioritaire. Le panorama se présente très différemment selon que l'on se place du point de vue de l'Etat, des collectivités territoriales, des parents d'élèves, des enseignants, des élèves.
Transgressions of the rural-urban divide - Islamic institutions of education in Tanzania
In Tanzania Islamic institutions of learning are reshaping dynamics between the rural and the urban. The paper shows on the micro- and meso-level how new educational, business and living environments are enabled and practiced through those institutions and alternative models of society are promoted.
Islamic Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) are stressing the importance of religious and secular education in Tanzania. In these contexts local and international FBOs run educational institutions covering preprimary, primary and secondary schools as well as universities. Frequently one can observe the clustering of a set of theses and additional institutions promoted as so called 'centers' or 'villages'. While following the national, secular curricula they offer a learning environment that caries specifically Islamic attributes and encourages Islamic values.
In Tanzania Islamic institutions of learning are situated in urban but also rural environments which are commonly perceived as backward and less attractive. Especially in the latter they impact through a new visibility of the locations to a broader public, infrastructure and an influx of people, ideas and business-opportunities. Through giving out scholarships to students, they foster a highly qualified and loyal workforce since some of them enter their sponsoring institutions after completing their studies. Offering rural people access to education, job opportunities and exposure and motivating educated Muslim (even from abroad) to locate in rural environments, they transgress the urban-rural divide.
Based on empirical data from Tanzania the paper highlights characteristics of Islamic educational institutions. It sketches their impact on the individual level and on the wider society in reference to a commonly perceived rural-urban divide. Thus the paper shows that through new educational, business and living environments FBOs are reshaping differences between urban and rural while alternative models of society are promoted.
Experiencing Urban Religious Diversity: The Darfuri Fuqarâ Negotiating a Path to Knowledge and Work in Central Sudan
This paper investigates exposure of the migrant fuqarâ to an opposing system of Islamic knowledge production and usage in cities. The paper examines how the fuqarâ adjust themselves to the new socio-religious and institutional setting they encounter upon their arrival in urban setting.
This paper investigates exposure of the fuqarâ (graduates of Qur'anic schools from the Darfur region of western Sudan) to an opposing system of Islamic knowledge production and usage; namely the central Sudanese style, which has been shaped by and grounded in a conservative Arabic culture. Prior to this experience, the fuqarâ are trained in rural Qur'anic schools whose learning style has been constructed in accordance with the tolerant and "liberal" Fur culture. The fuqarâ are exposed to the central Sudanese learning style and form of Islam when they migrate to cities in search of further Islamic education and employment. As the Islamic traditions and socio-cultural context of religious institutions in central Sudan differ from those of Darfur, the paper examines how the fuqarâ adjust themselves to the new socio-religious and institutional setting they encounter upon their arrival in central Sudan. The paper seeks to map what kinds of challenges the fuqarâ face while trying to study or find work and how they overcome the difficulties? A further interest of the paper has been to understand how the institutions in urban areas evaluate the candidates' mastery of previously-acquired knowledge, as well as how the fuqarâ adapt to the new socio-religious and cultural environment. The paper takes a comparative approach to the regional disparities, cultural differences and religious diversity, thus contextualising the fuqarâ from the Darfur Region.
Repenser l'identité de l'étudiant à l'ère des smartphones
This paper aims at reporting the identity of the student from rural area in his new environment of study in the town of Bamako. It describes how smartphones’ revolution impacts the social, cultural integration and as well as the learning process at the University of social sciences in Bamako.
Mobile technologies have revolutionized the world. Education is not an exception.
This paper aims at reporting the identity of the student from rural area in his new environment of study in the town of Bamako. It describes how smartphones' revolution impacts the social, cultural integration and the learning process as well at the University of social sciences in Bamako.
In Mali, High education is characterized by the lack of materials and facilities such as libraries, availability of books and weakness of the internet bits and non- existing of wireless on the campus. So, since the advent of smartphones, many students use them as alternative to the lack of materials. Possessing a smartphone becomes, then, a means of social and cultural integration.
If some students discovered smartphones in their native place (city), many others (from rural areas) have discovered them after starting their university study.
Indeed, smartphones have become inseparable companions of students. They use it anywhere and anytime. They use is not done in an isolated way but is always part of the learning activity.
However, the mobile technology revolution has led to the massive, rapid and uncontrolled use of smartphones by students at the University of Bamako. Higher education is most affected by the massive use of smartphones. How the appropriation of a smartphone constitutes a dynamic of social and cultural integration in the urban university environment of Bamako? This is our focus in this study.
Our research methodology consisted of documentary research, one-on- one interview with students using smartphones in the context of their university study.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.