Traditional Educational Institutions in Child Education in Sierra Leone


Sierra Leone is bounded on the north-west, north and north-east by using the Republic Guinea, on the south-east through the Republic of Liberia and on south-west with the aid of the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 27,925 rectangular miles. The colony of Sierra Leone originated in the sale and cession in 1787 by means of native chiefs to English settlers of a bit of land meant as a domestic for African settlers who have been waifs in London and later it become used as a settlement for freed African slaves. The hinterland turned into declared a British Protectorate on twenty first August, 1896. Sierra Leone attained independence on 27th April, 1961 and have become a Republic in 1971. Education is provided through both private and country-sponsored faculties. The current system of schooling is 6-three-four-4 (this is six years Primary school, three years Junior Secondary School, four years Senior Secondary School and 4 years tertiary/higher victor ribeiro education. This gadget is complemented by way of non- formal training.


Education is often used inside the sense of preparation within the lecture room, laboratory, workshop or home science room and is composed mainly inside the presenting via the trainer, and the purchase by way of pupils, of information and mental in addition to guide capabilities. A wider that means than practise is that of schooling. That is to say all that is going on within the college as part of the student’s life there. It consists of, among different things, dating among scholars and instructors, students and students each in and out of doors the school. J. S. Mill (1931) opined that something enables to form the man or women; to make the person what he’s or hinder him from being what he isn’t always is part of his training. Implicitly education is lifelong and ubiquitous; it is the sum total of all impacts which go to make a person what he’s, from delivery to loss of life. It consists of the house, our pals, and the street amongst others.

Education is to a degree a deliberate planned process devised and performed by the educator with the purpose of imbuing the learner with sure statistics, abilities, of thoughts and body in addition to modes of conduct taken into consideration applicable. In component it’s miles the learner’s personal reaction to the environment in which he lives. Education has three focal factors: the person/character upon whom the educator’s impacts are added to bear; the society or community to which he belongs; and the entire context of fact within which the character and society play their component. Man is a social creature; he grows as a person through the impact of persona on persona; or even for his basic physical desires he relies upon on the assist and cooperation of his fellow males and females. Without society and the mutual help and enrichment of studies which it gives civilization is not possible and the existence of man, in Hobbes’ words, is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

One of the essential information of human life is the anxiety among the pull of the past and the ahead urge into the future, among balance and alternate, lifestyle and innovation. For effective residing,man desires a circle of security, an area of installed habits and relationship which bureaucracy reliable relationships. This is likewise actual of society. For its effective functioning there should be an underlying continuity of traditions and outlook which preserves its identity as a society and safeguards it in opposition to the disruptive results of trade. Change need to be for existence and now not static however this transformation in turn have to be controlled through the basic traditions of society. It is lifestyle which gives a nation its character and uniqueness as a society. The conservation of tradition consequently is manifestly critical.

It has been recognized from time immemorial that the conservation of traditional training has a vital part to play inside the development of the child. The youngsters of these days are the adults of day after today; they ought to be trained therefore, to inherit and perpetuate the ideals and modes of existence bizarre to the particular society to which they belong. For every society has the desire to preserve itself not only bodily however as network consciously sharing positive aims, ideals and patterns of behavior. This type of schooling is not always formal in faculties by way of school room preparation but that effected not directly via the own family and via the effect at the character of social influences and customs which the kid can not prevent. In Sierra Leone this social schooling covered intricate ceremonies of initiation related to feats of patience in which younger males and females should show themselves worth of the network. The ultimate aim become to provide an person who was sincere, respectful, skilled, cooperative, and who should comply with the social order of the day. As Aristotle once stated “the constitution of a kingdom will go through if education is unnoticed. The citizens of a kingdom have to constantly be knowledgeable to fit the constitution of the country. The form of individual appropriate to a charter is the power which maintains to preserve it as it’s also the nation pressure which at the beginning created it” (p. I).


Traditional schooling has both a innovative and conservation feature in society; it is a powerful approach of keeping a society’s customs, if not subculture. In the past the nature and needs of society played a vital component in determining the character of training. Professor M.V.C. Jeffreys (1950) as soon as wrote in his e book, Glaucon, that “in a tranquil society the educational device will tend to reflect the social pattern, at the same time as social uneasiness and instability create possibility for using education as an instrument of social trade”(p.7). A similar view turned into shared by way of John Dewey (1897) who opined that through schooling society can formulate its very own functions, can organize its own manner and resources and thus store itself with definiteness and financial system inside the path in which it desires to transport. Education looks both to the past and the destiny; necessarily it reflects the traditions and person of society. Traditional training may be used to put together for adjustments in society and expect and prevent adjustments or the effects of adjustments in society.

Traditional training conserves and hands at the customs and ways of existence which represent the person of a society and maintains its harmony. It additionally enables society to interpret its capabilities in new methods to satisfy the demanding situations of change, searching for ways or strains of development that are regular with the traditions and customs and could on the equal time improve society to a extra whole success of itself.

History exhibits that there have been no formal schools wherein youngsters had been knowledgeable in Pre-colonial Sierra Leone. The Poro and Bondo/Sande Secret Societies have been appeared upon as institutions to teach youngsters. They have been bush schools. And the education those bush colleges provided became informal. Children who went through those mystery societies have been considered able to carrying out their civic obligations. They became adults and may marry and start life. They taken into consideration themselves as one circle of relatives. In different phrases both Secret Societies created a experience of comradeship and unity among members irrespective of family, extended family or ethnic affiliation. It turned into therefore taken into consideration that children who had not long gone thru those mystery societies had been now not absolutely matured.

The Poro Secret Society is for boys. The spiritual head of the Poro Society is Pa Gbonu, seen most effective by using the older graduates or participants. The bodily heads are the Pa Sama Yorgbors and Pa Somanos. They direct the activities of the group. The senior instructors are the Pa Kashis, who usually train and deliver instructions to different initiators. The Pa Manchiyas serve as instructors to the initiates whilst the Kachemas are the scaring spirits. They scare the ladies and children alike collectively with the new initiates. The Rakas are the errand boys wearing messages around. The Yambas are the top boys. The Bomos are the senior prefects at the same time as the Sayboms are the prefects; and the video display units are the Gbanaboms. Informal classes are held inside the Secret Poro Bush. The subjects taught include Creative Practical Arts, Performing Arts, Practical Agriculture, Medicine i.E. Use of nearby herbs for the treatment of different illnesses), war and other capabilities. In Creative Practical Arts initiates are taught a way to make fishing nets, baskets, mats, and carving timber and soap stones into exclusive items such as animals and humans; in Performing Arts initiates are taught making a song, dancing and using Poro musical contraptions. In Practical Agriculture initiates exercise farming. Boys are taught to undergo trouble without grievance and develop aware of it. Thus they’re taken to the farms in their teachers and elders to paintings on pro bono foundation. However all through the harvest season initiates could pass thru those farms taking anything they want and devour without being puzzled by using farm owners. Initiates are taught to admire elders and use of weapons to kill animals. In a similar vein initiates are taught how to use weapons in preventing in protection of their communities. Other abilties initiates are taught encompass making fish traps, fishing and looking internet, and basketry. In the use of herbs initiates pay money (a few freely given) for healing diverse diseases as well as for safety in opposition to enemies, evil spirits and snake bites. Initiates who need to purpose damage to others using herbs may want to ‘redeem’ the herb/remedy worried. Over all initiates are taught a brand new Language spoken only by contributors known as Ke Sornor. For example fonka trika meaning I am talking to you; fonka bonomi meaning Talk to me. The use of this new Language makes graduates very proud and sense exclusive from non-initiates. Graduates come out with new names along with Lamp, Langba and Kolerr. A graduation ceremony climaxes the event.

Parents make massive preparations which include sewing dresses for the graduates. To mark the graduation ceremony there may be feasting, drinking, dancing and singing reward songs for the graduates and their dad and mom. Those certified for initiation ought to were circumcised and grown to age of puberty. They should live on their own in the course of the length of training which tiers from one to seven years. Graduates are fully admitted to the general Poro society thru any other ceremony known as Enkorie, which lasts for four days.

The Bondo/Sande Society is the group in which women are skilled for womanhood. Its religious head is Na Bondigba. The Na Gboyamas and Na Wulus are the physical heads. These have religious powers used to foretell the future and capture witches. They are the senior instructors. The Na Sokos are the provider teachers. They can provoke ladies even as much as the advanced stage of the Society. The Digbas are the overall teachers and live close to the initiates. The Sampas are the skillful dancers and errand women/ladies. They make announcements approximately the progress and sports or programs during the graduation rite.

The Na Fets, because the call implies do not recognise all the secrecy of the organization. They bring the institutional implements and regalia. The Karr Ayeamus are the ‘waiters’ to be initiated into the higher popularity of the group. Girls admitted to the Bondo/Sande Society are trained informally. Classes are held at Kantha or sacred home. The instructors are largely concerned with the transmission to those adolescent girls the abilities and expertise which person girls are anticipated to possess a good way to function nicely and intelligently of their community. The topics ladies are taught consist of Cooking, Performing Arts, Fishing, Husband and Child Care, and Home Management. In Cooking girls are taught how to put together meals thru observation and participation within the preparation of numerous dishes and are later allowed to have a go together with very little supervision. Those who couldn’t prepare dinner properly are allowed to copy. In Performing Arts ladies are taught how to compose and sing songs and how to beat the Bondo/Sande drums (sambories). Alongside making a song ladies are taught a way to dance and people who dance well might also be part of the hierarchy of the Sampas. Girls also are taught how to fishing, make fishing nets, fishing baskets, sound asleep mats from bamboo and palm leaves. Further ladies are taught how to help their potential husbands and how to take care of kids specially those of senior members. Like the Poro Society commencement ceremonies are marked by huge preparations. Both mother and father and potential husbands would purchase new attire, slippers, perfumes, powder, and beads to make neck laces. On the day of the commencement rite the brand new initiates are arrayed in white with coronets. They come out with new names including Burah, Yeanor, Rukor and Yainkain. This demonstrates a signal of maturity. Initiating ladies into Bondo/Sande society lasts between a few months and 3 years.


If training has the critical feature of perpetuating the traditions and values of society, of adapting them to a converting environment, and of raising them to richer and more fruitful expression then both the Poro and Bondo/Sande Secret Societies, as traditional marketers of this method must experience a position of the highest esteem. Through those mystery societies the nation’s culture flows from one era to the alternative and the aspirations of society are focused with intimate and telling persuasion upon the young. They stand at a factor wherein the energies of children are released into new and innovative possibilities. Through these secret societies youngsters don’t forget the beyond sports of their predecessors. They assist in behavioral schooling styles of society. These societies are institutions of proposal and each politicians and chiefs use them to gain. That is to either gain or maintain energy. Major and binding choices are taken in the Poro Bush of which best participants are allowed to attend and participate. The Poro Secret Society acts as a test in opposition to the abuse of strength. In crisis ridden situations important choice are taken within the Poro Bush. The Poro society even acts as arbitrator in chiefdom disputes and could promulgate wellknown legal guidelines and regulate trading practices. It is also involved in the burial of chiefs and other important nearby officers (Alie, 1990).

Western education has existed inside the country for long and is now so quintessential part of the civilized life that there’s a bent to expect that it is the principle or sole method of presenting competencies, information and social values in children. This isn’t the case in Sierra Leone. The significance of the Poro and Bondo conventional secret societies can not be over-sighted because of their massive potentiality in teaching children for existence in society. Fundamental is that appreciate for individuals as people is the idea of conventional society. Linked with this is courtesy, sensitivity to the needs of others, cooperativeness, self-discipline, moral and bodily braveness, hard work and excessive standards of achievement. These are exceeded directly to youngsters inside the surroundings in which they’re a part of their every day reviews. Notwithstanding, those traditional establishments as agents of schooling are currently confronted with many challenges there-through forcing their death. The practice of woman genital circumcision is of international problem and in Sierra Leone people are agitating for its general ban. Currently girls are allowed to be circumcised at age eighteen at some stage in which era a toddler is perceived to be matured sufficient to select whether or not or no longer to be initiated into the Bondo/Sande mystery society. In addition the duration of initiation is perceived too long and is being challenged. Besides youngsters in recent times now not should be initiated into those societies to learn the way to be easy, cook, rear kids, exercise agriculture, and inculcate morals and virtues to quote some examples. All these might be learnt either in or outside formal schooling through reading. What is more Religion, specifically Christianity and Islam, western lifestyles, in addition to rural-city migration are forcing these secret societies to obliteration.

Besides the activities and work of those conventional societies aren’t in curriculum shape and documented. Neither is also the usage of herbs documented. Therefore by using discontinuing those traditional secret societies Sierra Leoneans stand to lose their cultural historical past. If but, training has the critical characteristic of perpetuating the traditions and values of society, of adapting them to a converting environment, and of elevating them to a richer and greater fruitful expression then those traditional secret societies, as retailers of this procedure have to enjoy a position of the highest esteem. Through these societies the countrywide subculture flows from one generation to every other and the aspirations of society are centered with intimate and telling persuasion upon the young. These mystery societies stand on the factor where the energies of children are launched into new and creative possibilities.

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