Comparative Education

October 11, 2012 By Dr. Endalew Kufi

Culture is an asset which signifies a society of its identity and well-being. It is an intensifier of history and marker of the progressive dimension a society or a community is taking. Although it works within the stage and thought-dimension of a certain society, at times, it can also be subjected to other changes globally laden. Such changes can be gotten by economic ties, war, migration or mingling of any sort. To the other side, the need to keep positive cultural transfer apace with global dimensions becomes a two-edged demand for some societies such as Oromo whose language and culture are largely oral and non-researched. So, this research underlines two concepts: Indigenization and educational formalization as inevitable pairs moving societal culture. Indigenization is presented as the process of acculturation and enrichment of local assets whereas formalization refers to state of wider communication in academic and material realms among the wider human-society. For the purpose of focus, data will be collected from three groups of people such being elders in Oromo community, researchers and artists, and the youth in Oromia. Target of the study will, then, be three heads of Gadaa, three elderly Oromos, two researchers and four artists, and two-hundred youth in a university (within the age-gap of 20-25), the total being 212 participants/respondents. Such data-providers will be selected with the help of diverse sampling techniques where Gadaa heads are selected through purposive sampling on the bases of proximity and willingness to partake the research process; artists and researchers through purposive technique on the bases of their focus; and Oromo youth on the bases of stratified sampling according to gender. Key points of emphasis will be status of programmed transfer system, consistent provision for cultural development, and holistic nature of exchange in line with progressive global paces. Instruments of data collection will be semi-structured interview for heads, researchers and artists, and bimodal questionnaire for the youth. The procedure for data collection will be such that, first questionnaire data will be collected and then interview data will be set as complementary to the questionnaire data. The collected data will be arranged according to the thematic areas above and analysis will be held both statistically and thematically. With this research carried to practice, the wider gap between indigenous culture and changing global culture can both be understood and treated positively by elders and the youth such that the latter can benefit both ways.

Key terms- Cultural indigenization, formalization, cultural-educational trends

1.1 Background of the Research
Education is the instrument of social change and development which works with existing culture and social norms. Education is seen as a means of cultural transmission from one generation to another in any given society. Society is defined as the whole range of social relationships of people living in a certain geographic territory and having a sense of belonging to the same group (Daramola, 2008).
Although vast literatures assert the importance of informal education as the ground for learning and life with its wider provisions in terms of cognitive, moral and physical development, formalization of education seems to win over the informal to which effect indigenization seems to be getting slower in pace to the level of extinction. Sahlberg (2005) states the following regarding the inevitable ties between culture and formal education as interdependent parcels in society:
Formal education has a controversial dual role regarding human creativity. It simultaneously kills and cultivates it. A common view is that as a student progresses from year to year in school, the academic orientation to teaching and learning becomes more dominant. It overrides play and personal exploration that characterise early years of schooling. Indeed schools do have a great potential to enhance human ecology by removing barriers and utilising the potentials for more creative learning environments.
From Sahlberg’s presentation, it is evident that, formal schooling has the capacity to sharpen creativity; while, at the same time, tending to be blockade to personal enjoyment and cultural indigenization.
Such is evident from the type of access the youth have to the living sources of cultural knowledge, such as elders in the largely oral societies such as Oromo. Context-wise, Oromo are people of African origin who have long indwelt the east, south central and western part of Ethiopia, to the largest extent. Their original homeland, history traces, is Madda-walaabuu (Walabu Spring) from which they have extended their settlement northward, to the south-central and farther west. Today, there is no region of Ethiopia which lacking access with the Oromo Land (Oromia) such that, the language (Afaan Oromoo) is spoken in almost all parts of the country, including the peripheries.
With Oromo specifically in view, research becomes important for the purposes of developing the culture through enlightened youth, and making the youth beneficiaries from their inherent and cost-effective cultural resources. Such beneficence can be ascertained when targeted action is taken to bring the elders and the youth together to the scenario of transfer both individually and in group. Forerunner for such an exchange is research which may earmark the existing situation of change and exchange. This research deals with the state of cultural indigenization and formalization in education in Oromo society with focused analyses on the nature and status of transfer in Oromo

Attached files:
Cultural Indigenizatio.doc

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