MLE+: Schools Embracing Local Culture and Language (BBC)


Creating a school environment that helps the children to love their local languages and cultures seems rather idealistic. The BBC recently published a video clip of a school in Africa that does just that: celebrating the children’s culture in the school. As also in Africa, teaching is based on a post-colonial curriculum, that is rather unique. This is worth taking note of!

To begin with, the Freedom School in Kenya promotes love and acceptance of their own culture by encouraging children to speak their mother tongue. The BBC documentary Afrocentrism: The school teaching kids to love their African culture shows a school culture and curriculum that is Africa centred through which the children are growing to love who they are. The children are provided with mentorship and with plenty of encouragement to embrace their own heritage. This has also resulted in an increasing use of mother tongue names. 

The children are being provided opportunities for inclusion and quality learning which have increased their academic learning skills. Furthermore, instead of conventional uniforms cultural patterns are worn by children which has taught them to love how they look. According to Dr Charles Ong’ondo from the Kenya Institute of Curriculum development, African traditional education had been undermined by the colonisers. The Freedom School has a Competency Based Curriculum which includes cultural elements such as learning Swahili, local other languages and the use of traditional clothes. This is MLE+: not just the languages but also the local cultures are valued!


Produced, filmed and edited by Njoroge Muigai, Additional filming by Ashley Ogonda

Published 19 May Section BBC News Subsection Africa