Sunday, February 10, 2008

Building Educational Development in Detroit by Akindele Akinyemi

Among all of the struggles for economic development in our lifetimes, Detroit has been the most resistant. Times does not allow exploring all of the reasons for this, but two facts are worth noting:

1. Detroit’s economic problem is not just undevelopment. It is underdevelopment. This, rather than being on the same upward path but behind other preceding nations, its development has been deliberately held ransom to the advantage of some of those advanced nations.

2. There is nowhere in Detroit an true educational system designed to meet the needs of our city. And 2, is very much a result of 1.

The role of education in the development of a society has been vastly documented for years in academic journals, and I do not intend to revisit it here. We must began tol concentrate on the need for our city leaders to pay close attention to the needs of the educational sector, and treat it as a public-health issue, because the sociopolitical and economic development of Detroit and (or her health) is, in many ways, determined by the quality and level of educational attainment of the population. Political leaders should take politics out of education, as the continued neglect of this sector would lead to social paralysis. The youth should be given the appropriate quality academic training and an environment that would enable them to reach their full potential through educational options.

Detroit has toiled with some educational programs, which have only served as conduits to transfer money to the corrupt political leaders and their cronies. You have Detroit school board leaders who are on the school board not for the interest of the children but for their own interests like Jimm Womack (who now wants to run for State Representative in District 7).

If one may ask: with the troubling revelations of the shortage and "half-baked" teachers employed to teach in Detroit schools, how are we certain the current programs in DPS will be successful? Has the government-ran school district trained the required number and quality of teachers needed to successfully implement the program? Are the teachers going to be motivated to perform their duties well? Are the classrooms and seats ready, or are the pupils going to sit on bare floor? Are the books and other teaching materials ready?

Most of these schools are in high poverty areas. This shows that Detroit has a weird value system; it is a society where priorities are turned to their heads. For instance, the salaries of the less educated local city government official are higher than that of university professors; it is a place where well known rouge and cheats are applauded for donating money to local communities and churches; it is a place where nobody cares about how one makes his/her money; it is a place where the roads leading to million dollar homes are filled with potholes; and the society is a place where the streets in Detroit are littered with hips of thrash. And nobody cares! Something is obviously wrong with any society that does not take her educational institutions seriously.

There can be no true economic development without education of and by Detroiters for Detroit purposes. Neither can there be democracy and peace without a populous prepared to be both self-governing and mutually respectful with a commitment to self-preservation, leaving behind the divide and conquer hatreds of self and power which are the source of so much of current internal strife. Beyond the influence of family and religion, education is a key to the prevention of such events in our community.The basic issues for an educational policy designed to liberate Detroiters from their state of decency deal with concept of man, his role in a special historical context, and the right perspective on which to base education work. This education must be centripetally oriented-base on local realities and directs its intellectual efforts towards the achievement of cultural freedom.

1 comment: said...

The haters can't stop him.

The left can't silence him.

The liars can't lie enough about him.

He is Akindele and he is unleashed!