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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Crafting educational systems suitable for the African context remains a challenge today, as it was for colonial administrators and educators. Despite changes from the era of missionary education to today’s secular nation-states, there are significant continuities that require the attention of researchers and policymakers. The promise of education as a bridge to modernity for rural populations through welfare policies of the postwar era has been threatened by the emphasis on market-based policies and “cost recovery” programs in economically weak states since the 1980s. A key limitation to creative policy development is to be found in the presentism of much policy development. The current challenge is for researchers and policymakers to explore the history of education in Africa in a search for approaches that promote equity through education.

Keywords: colonial education, development, welfare, vocational education, educational policy, neoliberalism, World Bank

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