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The Origins of Formal Education in sub-Saharan Africa - Was British Rule More Benign?

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  • Ewout Frankema
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    Abstract

    British colonial rule has often been praised for its comparatively benign features, such as its support for local educational development. This paper studies the origins of formal education in sub-Saharan Africa arguing that the beneficial effects of British educational policy should not be overstated. British African colonies showed significantly higher school enrolment rates in the late colonial era, but these were not the result of impressive investment efforts. Missionary schools provided the bulk of education to native Africans at extremely low costs. We show that local African conditions affecting the African reception of missionary education explain much more of the variation in colonial educational outcomes than metropolitan identity.

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    File URL: http://www.cgeh.nl/sites/default/files/WorkingPapers/CGEH.WP_.No5_.Frankema.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History in its series Working Papers with number 0005.

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    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0005

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    Postal: University of Utrecht, Drift 10, The Netherlands
    Web page: http://www.cgeh.nl
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    Related research

    Keywords: Africa; colonial rule; educational policy; educational finance; missions; agency;

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    1. Frankema, Ewout, 2009. "The Expansion of Mass Education in Twentieth Century Latin America: A Global Comparative Perspective," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(03), pages 359-396, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Denis Cogneau, 2011. "Borders that Divide: Education and Religion in Ghana and Togo since Colonial Times," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2011-21, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Buzasi, Katalin, 2012. "Does colonialism have an impact on the current language situation in Sub-Saharan Africa?," MPRA Paper 42791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Johan Fourie & Robert Ross & Russel Viljoen, 2013. "Literacy at South African Mission Stations," Working Papers 06/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    4. Jerven , Morten & Austin , Gareth & Green, Erik & Uche , Chibuike & Frankema , Ewout & Fourie , Johan & Inikori , Joseph & Moradi , Alexander & Hillbom , Ellen, 2012. "Moving Forward in African Economic History: Bridging the Gap Between Methods and Sources," African Economic History Working Paper 1/2012, African Economic History Network.

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