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Fri February 28, 2020 06:15:51Login ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 12[3]4 ]
Subject: "Educated" and "literate" - why do we blindly accept western definitions?

nabaut nabaut
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Date Posted: 21:14:50 04/29/01 Sun

I believe that we blindly swallow the definitions we are given concerening what is "education" and what is "literacy" and as a result, we manage to downgrade our ancestors and our past, and in so doing, uplift outsiders and outside ways in an unbalanced way.

In ancestral times, our people were very educated. When our ancestors taught their kids all the time how to use everything in their environment to solve various problems in their lives, they were highly educating their kids weren't they? If education is all about learning the tools you need to solve the problems you're likely to face in your life, then indeed our ancestors were very highly educated. Today yumi kamap haphap kain man. Hap autsait man, hap PNG man. Our ancestors could beat us in a flash with their education about the land if most of us tried to compete with them on that. Similarly foreigners could beat us in a flash with their western education in most areas. So this haphap business has made us half educated and we find ourselves put down in all respects, again and again. I'm not ignoring the rare exceptions to this general haphap man rule. I'm looking at the general result that we find ourselves in today in PNG.

Also with literacy, think about whether the definition we have all come to accept is really a definition that captures what literacy is all about. Our ancestors read the sky, they read the leaves falling on the Pikas trees, they read the clouds, they read many things in their environment. And then they wrote. They wrote by their actions, based on what they read. They knew when to catch fish, when to plant gardens, etc. Our ancestors were very, very literate too it would seem. Today we think literacy has only to do with print literacy, and by accepting that definition we again put oursleves and our history down as being poor and primitive. No society that managed to live in the same general environment for 50,000 years (at least some of us) could be considered primitive or uneducated or illiterate, because if we were any of those things, we would have never survived.

These definitions of education and literacy are definitions taught to us by westerners based on their conceptions. But if you dig down to the underlying meaning of the concept itself, you can see how educated and literate our ancestors were.

That's a point I wanted to make on this forum. We condemn ourselves to be perpetual followers if we don't sometimes take the lead and promote what was good and true about our past.

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Re: "Educated" and "literate" - why do we blindly accept western definitions?Anon08:04:05 05/08/01 Tue

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