Monday, July 16, 2012

The Public Education Predicament

If someone were to come up and tell you that the education provided in the United States is one of the best in the world, you would most likely nod in agreement because this is after all the United States of America we are speaking of, a country which can afford to give its students the latest technological innovations to aid them with their education and some of the best and the brightest minds to educate their younger generations. But the truth is often very different from what we can imagine.

If you are residing in the United States and are one of the lucky few who can actually afford Private schooling, there is a very higher chance for your child to complete his/her education in a timely fashion, but if you fall amongst the other majority who have to opt for Public schooling, your child will have to face a system where teachers are not mandated to provide the right education and where students have to be accepted regardless of their behavior.

The problem - public schools are complicated, underfunded operations greatly influenced by political whims. Financed through federal, state, and local taxes, public schools are part of a larger school system, which functions as a part of the government and must follow the rules and regulations set by politicians. And if that wasn't enough, the Teachers Union also enjoys considerable control over the regulations set on public school.

Friday, July 6, 2012

How Did Colonial Rule Restructure the Gender Relations of Colonised People?

This article aims to evaluate the impact of colonial rule on the restructuring of gender relations with regards to Africa, paying specific attention to Ghana as a case study. It is widely agreed amongst political scholars that colonialism did significantly contribute to the reconstruction of gender relations in Africa. It is somewhat easy to make generalizations in the case of Africa, due to its vast continental size and several nation state divisions that each has its own background and religions. Moreover, Africa was not colonized by a single colonial rule but by a variety of European states that each had their own unique cultural backdrop and therefore left different impacts on distinctive regions of the continent. I wish to pursue the argument that colonialism did influence gender relations and most remarkably culminated in the demeaning and degradation of women's status in many spectrums.

Colonial rule reinforced the portrayal of women as being substandard and subservient, and depicted images of purity and propensity for child-rearing that did not have as much prominence prior to the influx of colonizers. Such exploitative gender relations were imposed during colonial rule with unfavourable outcomes for women. Unfortunately many of the prejudices have been maintained after decolonization, resulting in the discrimination of women in nationalist movements and in modern African institutions.

This article deals with analysis on how colonizers perceived the representation of women after arrival in Africa and how they went about restructuring and reinventing 'traditions' of social, economic, political, and sexual relations between the two sexes. In particular, I will investigate effects of altered gender relations in Ghana as a case study, with specific focus on women's perceptions of gender inequalities. Furthermore, I will explore the repercussions of the reconstructions in gender relations in Africa and furthermore the subsequent impacts on the status of women in post-colonial societies and the weakening of women's political institutions, and an examination of the work of nationalist movements to ameliorate gender relations of colonized peoples.