Education in Africa began as a tool to prepare the local youth to take their place in their respective societies and not necessarily for life outside of Africa. In some areas, the pre-European colonialism schooling system consisted of groups of older people teaching aspects and rituals that would help them in adulthood. In other areas, education in early African societies included such things as artistic performances, ceremonies, games, festivals, dancing, singing and drawing. Boys and girls were taught separately to help prepare each sex for their adult roles. Every member of the community had a hand in contributing to the educational upbringing of the child. The high point of the education experience in certain societies in Africa was the ritual passage ceremony from childhood to adulthood.
When European colonialism and imperialism took place it began to change many indigenous education systems. Schooling was no longer just about rituals and rites of passage, school would now mean earning an education that would allow Africans to compete with countries such as the United States and those in Europe. Africa would begin to try producing their own educated students as other countries had.
Education participation rates in many African countries are low. Schools often lack many basic facilities, and African universities suffer from overcrowding and staff being lured away to Western countries by higher pay and better conditions.
A student is a learner, or someone who attends an educational institution. In some nations, the English term (or its cognate in another language) is reserved for those who attend university, while a schoolchild under the age of eighteen is called a pupil in English (or an equivalent in other languages), although in the United States a person enrolled in grades K–12 is often called a student. In its widest use, student is used for anyone who is learning, including mid-career adults who are taking vocational education or returning to university.
African people are natives or inhabitants of Africa and people of African descent.