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Rethinking the African Philosophy of Education

A Fonlonian Perspective

by Kijika M. Billa

The African Union (AU) declared 2024 the year of Education, with the motto: “Educate an African fit for the 21 st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa.” In response, this book delves into issues plaguing African education, and proposes some solutions. The book attempts to attune African education towards the integration of African cultural values with contemporary societal demands. It draws inspiration from the writings and teachings of the late Professor Bernard Nsokika Fonlon, a foremost Cameroonian philosopher, literary luminary and public intellectual to explore the foundational features of African philosophy of education, outlining the four-fold dimensions of education from a Fonlonian perspective. Topics covered include the physical, aesthetic, intellectual and moral dimensions, as well as judicious conservative-progressivism in African education. Through an eclectic approach, the book constructively brings into conversation African conceptions of education with other philosophical foundations of education to make a case for genuine education as a revolutionary tool for a better and dynamic African community.

“In this book Kijika Billa argues that Afropessimism can be defeated. It takes courage, first expressed by Fonlon in what I have learned from reading this book to be his visionary works, and now laid out by Billa himself herein, that there is only one way any society lifts itself up from grim levels of societal decay, and that is through carefully defined educational system with clear goals which become the goals of the overall national aspiration and objective around which everything else coalesces.” D. A. Masolo (PhD), Professor of Philosophy, distinguished University Scholar at the University of Louisville

“This book accentuates significant themes of integrating philosophy of education with African education systems from a Fonlonian perspective. Bernard Nsokika Fonlon’s advocacy for a holistic, morally integrous, and culturally rich education is presented as a visionary framework for transcending current educational limitations, aiming to cultivate wise, ethical, and engaged citizens. Kijika Billa offers a brilliant integrated approach which calls for a reimagined, resilient education system that deeply reflects African values and aspirations, preparing individuals for meaningful contributions to the continent’s development.” Yusef Waghid (DEd, PhD, DPhil), Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Education, Stellenbosch University

“This book constitutes a springboard in the direction of proper African cultural context of education or Africanization of educational values.” Remi Prospero Fonka (PhD), Senior Lecturer, Catholic University of Cameroon, Bamenda

“It is gratifying to see Kijika Billa, a young and emerging scholar, take up Fonlon’s challenge on the need for genuine intellectuals steeped in African cultural philosophies of education as dynamic products of a world in perpetual motion. Fonlon could have wished for no better in intergenerational intellectual conversations.” Francis B. Nyamnjoh, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town

ISBN 9789956553716 | 166 pages | 229 x 152 mm | 2024 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback


eBook ISBN: 9789956553839



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