Education Policy and Racial Inequality as an Act of White Supremacy in the Education System

3447 Words Nov 5th, 2006 14 Pages
Vanquishing new worlds, victors from the West acquired more than just land and subjects—they also gained sumptuous avowal of their creed of superiority, reinforced by the sight of foreign coloured people whom they perceive to be the object of their hegemonic motives. Securing their victory did not cost them more and more artillery. It was only a matter of influencing the ideology of the conquered people—a strategically optimised scheme of maintaining their dominance. The battles and the arm struggles may have ceased or diminished but the war of ideology versus ideology perpetuated. White supremacy, a racist ideology, was the conqueror's secret weapon that struck its victim unwary. It is a system of belief that places the white race above …show more content…
French education was mainly controlled by Christian missions. Since the economy of the Ivory Coast relied primarily on agriculture, enrolment in schools was deliberately kept low because the French government required only unskilled labour from the Africans in Ivory Coast. The French curriculum, which accentuated agriculture, downgraded emphasis on professions such as engineering, teaching, sales and civil service. The textbooks used in schools were exactly the same as in France. One famous history textbook began "Our ancestors the Gauls…" Thus the policy of assimilation lingered on.
Under the assimilation policy, the French government initially wanted to turn Africans into Frenchmen. In 1917, the French administration decreed that education in the Ivory Coast must be in French and that all instructional materials must be printed in French as well (Bassey, 1999). Because of such resolution, only those who had acquired a high level of proficiency in the French language could benefit education. Thus the French education system was elitist.
This educational strategy implemented by the French colonial government propagated their ideology of white supremacy. Education as an institution is characterised by Althusser as an ideological state apparatus (1971)—a tool that paves way for the proliferation of the ideology of the ruling class (the French)—the ideology of racism or white supremacy—among the youth of the ruled class (the Africans) who would

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