Traditional Educational Institutions in Child Education in Sierra Leone


Sierra Leone is bounded at the north-west, north, and north-east with the aid of the Republic Guinea, on the south-east through the Republic of Liberia, and the south-west utilizing the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 27,925 rectangular miles. Sierra Leone’s colony originated within the sale and session in 1787 by way of native chiefs to English settlers of a piece of land intended as a domestic for African settlers who have been waifs in London, and later, it became used as an agreement for freed African slaves. The hinterland became declared a British Protectorate on 21st August 1896. Sierra Leone attained independence on the twenty-seventh April 1961 and have become a Republic in 1971. Both personal and kingdom-sponsored schools furnish education. The current education device is 6-three-4-four (that is six years Primary school, 3 years Junior Secondary School, 4 years Senior Secondary School, and 4 years tertiary/higher schooling. This system is complemented through no- formal training.



Education is regularly used within the feel of training inside the study room, laboratory, workshop, or domestic technology room and consists principally inside the supplying via the teacher, and the acquisition with the aid of students, of data and mental and guide capabilities. A wider meaning than coaching is that of education. That is to mention all that is going on inside the college as a part of the scholar’s life there. It consists of, amongst different things, courting among students and instructors, scholars, and scholars both in and outside the college. J. S. Mill (1931) opined that anything allows shaping the person; to make the person what he’s or prevent him from being what he isn’t always as part of his schooling. Implicitly, education is lifelong and ubiquitous; it’s for the total of all influences which go to make a person what he is, from delivery to demise. It consists of the home, our friends, and the road, among others.


Education is a planned system devised and conducted by using the educator to imbue the learner with sure records, abilities, mind, and body, and modes of conduct considered applicable. In component, it’s miles the learner’s own response to the environment wherein he lives. Education has 3 focal factors: the individual/man or woman upon whom the educator’s influences are introduced to bear; the society or network to which he belongs; and the whole context of reality inside which the character and society play their element. Man is a social creature; he grows as someone through the impact of personality on personality. Even for his primary bodily desires, he depends on his fellow ladies and men’s assist and cooperation. Without society and the mutual guide and enrichment of stories that it provides, civilization is impossible. In Hobbes’ words, the life of man is “solitary, terrible, nasty, brutish and short.”

One of the essential facts of human existence is the anxiety between the pull of the beyond and the ahead urge into the future, between stability and trade, the way of life and innovation. For the effective dwelling, the guy desires a circle of safety, an area of mounted conduct and dating which forms reliable relationships. This is likewise real of society. For its effective functioning, there ought to be an underlying continuity of traditions and outlook which preserves its identification as a society and safeguards it against the disruptive outcomes of alternate. Change needs to be for life and not static; however, this modification, in turn, should be controlled by using the simple traditions of society. It is a way of life that offers a kingdom its person and area of expertise as a society. The conservation of tradition, therefore, is manifestly vital.

It has been identified from time immemorial that the conservation of traditional training has a critical part in improving the kid. The youngsters of these days are the adults of the next day; therefore, they have to study, inherit and perpetuate the beliefs and modes of lifestyles atypical to the precise society to which they belong. Each society prefers to hold itself no longer simplest physically; however, as a network consciously sharing sure ambitions, beliefs, and patterns of conduct. This type of training isn’t necessarily formal in schools by way of study room practice; however, that affected not directly through the family and the impact on the man or woman of social impacts and customs that the kid cannot stay away from. In Sierra Leone, this social training blanketed elaborate ceremonies of initiation concerning feats of patience wherein young males and females need to prove themselves worthy of the community. The closing intention changed into to supply an individual who turned into sincere, respectful, professional, cooperative, and who should agree to the day’s social order. As Aristotle soon stated, “the charter of a state will suffer if schooling is not noted. The residents of a country should constantly be educated to fit the constitution of the state. The type of man or woman appropriate to a constitution is the power which maintains to sustain it as it’s also the nation pressure which first created it” (p. I).


Traditional schooling has both a creative and conservation function in society; it’s far a powerful way of keeping a society’s customs if no longer tradition. In the beyond, society’s character and wishes performed an essential part in figuring out the character of education. Professor M.V.C. Jeffreys (1950) as soon as wrote in his book, Glaucon, that “in a tranquil society the academic machine will generally tend to mirror the social pattern, at the same time as social uneasiness and instability create an opportunity for the usage of training as a tool of social exchange”(p.7). A similar view becomes shared by John Dewey (1897), who opined that through education, society could formulate its personal functions, arrange its own way and resources, and save itself with definiteness and economic system inside the direction wherein it wishes to transport. Education looks both to the beyond and the destiny; inevitably, it reflects the traditions and individual of the society. Traditional training may be used to prepare for changes in society and expect and save your adjustments or the consequences of society changes.

Traditional training conserves and palms the customs and approaches of lifestyles that represent society’s character and maintains its harmony. It also facilitates society to interpret its capabilities in new ways to satisfy the demanding situations of alternate, searching for ways or lines of improvement that might be steady with the traditions and customs and could at the equal time enhance society to greater complete fulfillment of itself.



History exhibits that there have been no formal faculties wherein kids were knowledgeable in Pre-colonial sierra leone facts. The Poro and Bondo/Sande Secret Societies had been looked upon as establishments to train children. They were bush faculties. And the training these bush faculties furnished became casual. Children who went through these secret societies had been taken into consideration to sort out their civic duties. They have become adults and might marry and start lifestyles. They were taken into consideration as one family. In other words, each Secret Societies created an experience of comradeship and team spirit amongst members regardless of family, clan, or ethnic affiliation. Consequently, it becomes taken into consideration that youngsters who had no longer gone via these mystery societies have been no longer absolutely matured.

The Poro Secret Society is for boys. The Poro Society’s religious head is Pa Gbonu, seen handiest by using the older graduates or individuals. The bodily heads are the Pa Sama Yorgbors and Pa Romanos. They direct the sports of the organization. The senior instructors are the Pa Kashis, who normally teach and provide instructions to other initiators. The Pa Manchiyas function teachers to the initiated while the Kachemas are the caring spirits. They scare the ladies and youngsters alike collectively with the new initiates. The Rakas are the errand boys sporting messages around. The Yambas are the pinnacle boys. The Bomos are the senior prefects simultaneously as the Sayboms are the prefects, and the monitors are the Gbanaboms.

Informal training is held within the Secret Poro Bush. The subjects taught encompass Creative Practical Arts, Performing Arts, Practical Agriculture, Medicine i.E. Use of nearby herbs to treat different illnesses), warfare, and different abilities. In Creative Practical Arts, initiates are taught a way to make fishing nets, baskets, mats, and carving timber and soap stones into one of a kind items consisting of animals and humans; in Performing Arts, initiates are taught making a song, dancing, and the usage of Poro musical instruments. In Practical Agriculture initiates practice farming. Boys are taught to bear trouble without grievance and develop acquainted with it. Thus, they may be taken to their instructors and elders’ farms to work on a pro bono foundation.

However, during the harvest season, initiates could skip through these farms taking anything they need and consume without being wondered by farm owners. Initiates are taught to recognize elders and use guns to kill animals. In a comparable vein, initiates are taught how to use guns in preventing protection in their communities. Other talents initiates are taught making fish traps, fishing and hunting net, and basketry. In herbs’ usage, initiates pay cash (some freely given) to recover diverse diseases and safety towards enemies, evil spirits, and snake bites. Initiates who need to purpose damage to others using herbs may want to ‘redeem’ the herb/remedy worried. Overall, initiates are taught a new Language spoken simplest by way of contributors referred to as K Sonor. For example, Wonka trike means I am speaking to you; Wonka Bonomi means Talk to me. The use of this new Language makes graduates very proud and feel exceptional from non-initiates. Graduates come out with new names, which include Lamp, Langba, and Kohler. A graduation ceremony climaxes the event.

Parents make massive preparations, including stitching clothes for the graduates. There may be feasting, consuming, dancing, and making a song praise songs for the graduates and their parents to mark the graduation ceremony. Those certified for initiation should have been circumcised and grown to the age of puberty. They need to stay on their own during the duration of schooling, which tiers from one to seven years. Graduates are absolutely admitted to the overall Poro society thru every other ceremony called Enkorie, which lasts for four days.

The Bondo/Sande Society is the institution wherein women are trained for womanhood. Its religious head is Na Bondigba. The Na Gboyamas and Na Wulus are the physical heads. These have no secular powers used to foretell the future and seize witches. They are the senior teachers. The Na Sokos is the provider teachers. They can initiate ladies even as much as the advanced level of the Society. Douglas is the overall teacher and lives close to the initiates. The Sampas is the skillful dancers and errand women/girls. They make bulletins about the development and activities or packages for the duration of the commencement site.

The Na Fets, because the name implies, do not know all of the institution’s secrecy. They deliver the institutional implements and regalia. The Karr Ayeamus are the ‘waiters’ to be initiated into the higher repute of the group. Girls admitted to the Bondo/Sande Society are educated informally. Classes are held at Kantha or sacred domestic. In large part, the teachers are worried about the transmission to these adolescent girls the abilities and know-how which person ladies are expected to possess to be characteristic well and intelligently in their community. The topics ladies are taught encompass Cooking, Performing Arts, Fishing, Husband and Child Care, and Home Management. In Cooking, women are taught how to put together food thru commentary and participation inside the guidance of various dishes. They are later allowed to have a go along with very little supervision.

Those who could not cook well are allowed to repeat. In Performing Arts, women are taught how to compose and sing songs and a way to beat the Bondo/Sande drums (Sambos). Alongside making a song, girls are taught a way to dance, and those who dance properly may join the hierarchy of the Sampas. Girls are also taught how to fish, make fishing nets, fishing baskets, and drowsing mats from bamboo and palm leaves. Further ladies are taught how to assist their prospective husbands and how to attend to youngsters, especially the ones of senior members. Like the Poro Society, graduation ceremonies are marked by way of huge arrangements. Both parents and potential husbands might purchase new dresses, slippers, perfumes, powder, and beads to make necklaces. On the day of the graduation ceremony, the new initiates are arrayed in white with coronets. They come out with new names consisting of Burah, Year, Rukor, and Yainkain. This demonstrates a signal of maturity. Initiating girls into Bondo/Sande society lasts for some months and three years.


Suppose education has the crucial function of perpetuating the traditions and values of society, of adapting them to changing surroundings, and of raising them to richer and extra fruitful expression, then each the Poro and Bondo/Sande Secret Societies, as conventional marketers of this process need to revel in a role of the highest esteem. Through those secret societies, the state’s tradition flows from one technology to the opposite, and the aspirations of the society are focused on intimate and telling persuasion upon the young. They stand at a factor where the energies of kids are launched into new and innovative opportunities.

Through those secret societies, kids bear in mind the beyond sports of their predecessors. They help in the behavioral schooling patterns of society. These societies are establishments of thought, and both politicians and chiefs use them to benefit. That is to either benefit or maintain electricity. Major and binding decisions are taken inside the Poro Bush, of which most effective contributors are allowed to wait and take part. The Poro Secret Society acts as a test against the abuse of power. In crisis-ridden conditions, an important choice is taken inside the Poro Bush. The Poro society even acts as an arbitrator in chiefdom disputes and will promulgate standard legal guidelines and alter buying and selling practices. Likewise, it is involved in the burial of chiefs and other crucial nearby officers (Alie, 1990).

Western schooling has existed in the u. S. A. For lengthy and is now so essential part of the civilized existence that there is a bent to count that it is the principal or sole way of offering skills, understanding and social values in kids. This isn’t the case in sierra leone’s facts. The Poro and Bondo traditional mystery societies’ significance can not be over-sighted due to their large potentiality in teaching kids for lifestyles in society. Fundamental is that recognize folks as humans are the basis of traditional society. Linked with this are the courtesy, sensitivity to others’ needs, cooperativeness, self-control, moral and bodily courage, hard paintings, and high requirements of fulfillment.

These are handed on to kids in the surroundings, wherein they may be a part of their daily reviews. Notwithstanding, these conventional establishments as dealers of education are currently confronted with many demanding situations there-through forcing their death. The practice of lady genital circumcision is a global subject, and in Sierra, Leone people are agitating for its total ban. Currently, ladies are allowed to be circumcised at age eighteen, all through which time a baby appears to be matured enough to select whether or not to be initiated into the Bondo/Sande secret society. Also, the period of initiation is perceived as too long and is being challenged. Besides, youngsters nowadays must not be initiated into these societies to learn a way to be easy, cook, rear kids, practice agriculture, and inculcate morals and virtues, to quote a few examples. All these can be learned either in or out of doors formal schooling thru analyzing. What is greater Religion, specifically Christianity and Islam, western lifestyles, and rural-city migration are forcing these mystery societies to obliteration?

Besides, the sports and paintings of those traditional societies aren’t in curriculum shape and documented. Neither also is the use of herbs documented. Therefore, to discontinue these conventional secret societies, sierra leone’s facts stand to lose their cultural background. If but, training has the essential characteristic of perpetuating the traditions and values of society, of adapting them to a converting environment, and of elevating them to a richer and extra fruitful expression than those conventional mystery societies, as dealers of this process ought to enjoy a position of the highest esteem. Through these societies, the country-wide culture flows from one technology to another, and society’s aspirations are centered with intimate and telling persuasion upon the younger. These mystery societies stand at the factor in which kids’ energies are released into new and creative possibilities.

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