Traditional Educational Institutions in Child Education in Sierra Leone


Sierra Leone is bounded at the northwest, north, and northeast with the aid of the Republic of Guinea, on the southeast by the Republic of Liberia, and the southwest by 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 immigrants who had been waifs in London, and later, it became used as an agreement for formerly enslaved Africans. The hinterland was declared a British Protectorate on 21 August 1896. Sierra Leone attained independence on 27 April 1961 and became a Republic in 1971. Both personal and kingdom-sponsored schools furnish education. The current education device is 6-three-4-four (six years of Primary school, three years of Junior Secondary School, four years of Senior Secondary School, and four years of 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 happening 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 is 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 that make a person what he is, from delivery to demise. It consists of the home, our friends, and the road.


Education is a planned system devised and conducted by the educator to imbue the learner with sure records, abilities, mind, body, and modes of conduct considered applicable. In component, it’s miles the learner’s response to the environment wherein he lives. Education has three focal factors: the individual/man or woman upon whom the educator’s influences are introduced, 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. He depends on his fellow ladies’ and men’s assistance and cooperation for his primary bodily desires. Civilization is impossible without Society and the mutual guide and enrichment of stories it provides. In Hobbes, man’s life 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 effective dwelling, the guy desires a circle of safety, an area of mounted conduct and dating, which forms reliable relationships. This is likewise real in Society. For its effective functioning, there ought to be an underlying continuity of traditions and outlook that 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 practice, therefore, is manifestly vital.

It has been identified from time immemorial that the conservation of traditional training plays a critical part in improving the kids. 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 certain ambitions, beliefs, and patterns of conduct. This type of training isn’t necessarily formal in schools through study room practice; however, it is affected not directly by the family and the impact on the man or woman of the social effects 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, supplying an individual who turned into sincere, respectful, professional, and cooperative and who should agree to the day’s social order. Aristotle soon stated, “The state charter will suffer if schooling is not noted. The residents of a country should constantly be educated to fit the state’s constitution. 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 a powerful way of keeping a society’s customs if no longer tradition. In the beyond, Society’s character and wishes were essential in figuring out the nature of education. Professor M.V.C. Jeffreys (1950) 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 was shared by John Dewey (1897), who opined that through education, Society could formulate its functions, arrange its way and resources, and save itself with definiteness and economic system inside the direction it wishes to transport. Education looks both to the beyond and the destiny; inevitably, it reflects the traditions and individuals of the Society. Traditional training may be used to prepare for changes in Society and expect and save your adjustments or the consequences of societal changes.

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


History shows that there have been no formal faculties wherein kids were knowledgeable about 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 were 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 Society created an experience of comradeship and team spirit amongst members regardless of family, clan, or ethnic affiliation. Consequently, it becomes considered that youngsters who had no longer gone via these mystery societies have no longer matured.

The Poro Secret Society is for boys. The Poro Society’s religious head is Pa Gbonu, who is seen as the handiest by using 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 as 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, 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.,  the use of nearby herbs to treat different illnesses), warfare, and other abilities. In Creative Practical Arts, initiates are taught a way to make fishing nets, baskets, and mats and carve timber and soap stones into one-of-a-kind items consisting of animals and humans; in Performing Arts, initiates are taught to make a song, dance, and the usage of Poro musical instruments. Practical Agriculture initiates the practice of farming. Boys are taught to bear trouble without grievance and develop acquainted with it. Thus, they may be taken to their instructor’s and elders’ farms to work on a pro bono foundation.

However, initiates could skip through these farms during harvest, taking anything they need and consuming without being wondered by farm owners. Initiates are taught to recognize elders and use guns to kill animals. Similarly, initiates are taught how to use guns to prevent community protection. Other talents initiates are taught making fish traps, fishing and hunting nets, 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 cause damage to others using herbs may want to ‘redeem’ the herb/remedy worried. Overall, initiates are taught a new Language spoken simplest by contributors called 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 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 puberty. They need to stay on their own during schooling, which tiers from one to seven years. Graduates are admitted to the overall Poro Society through every other ceremony called Enkorie, which lasts four days.

The Bondo/Sande Society is where 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 are the provider teachers. They can initiate ladies even as much as the advanced level of Society. Douglas is the overall teacher and lives close to the initiates. The Sampas are 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 institutional implements and regalia. The Karr Ayeamus are the ‘waiters’ to be initiated into the higher reputation 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 of the abilities and know-how that 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 through commentary and participation in the guidance of various dishes. They are later allowed to have a go-along with very little supervision.

Those who could not cook well were 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 and make fishing nets, fishing baskets, and drowsing mats from bamboo and palm leaves. Further, ladies are taught how to assist their prospective husbands and attend to youngsters, especially the ones of senior members. Like the Poro Society, graduation ceremonies are marked by huge arrangements. Both parents and potential husbands might purchase new dresses, slippers, perfumes, powder, and beads to make necklaces. The new initiates are arrayed in white with coronets on the graduation ceremony day. They came out with new names: Burah, Year, Rukor, and Yainkain. This demonstrates a signal of maturity. Initiating girls into Bondo/Sande society lasts for 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 more fruitful expression, then each of 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 of the young. They stand at a factor where kids’ energies are launched into new and innovative opportunities.

Through those secret societies, kids consider 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, where most effective contributors can wait and participate. 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 now an essential part of civilized existence, there is a bent to count that it is the principal or sole way of offering kids skills, understanding, and social values. 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 about lifestyles in Society. Fundamental is that recognizing folks as humans is the basis of traditional Society. This includes courtesy, sensitivity to others’ needs, cooperativeness, self-control, moral and bodily courage, hard paintings, and high fulfillment requirements.

These are handed on to kids in the surroundings, wherein they may be a part of their daily reviews. Notwithstanding, these conventional establishments as education dealers are currently confronted with many demanding situations that force their death. The practice of female 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 mature enough to select whether or not to be initiated into the Bondo/Sande secret society. Also, the initiation period is perceived as too long and is being challenged. Besides, youngsters nowadays must not be initiated into these societies to learn how 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 through 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 noted. Therefore, Sierra Leone’s facts must lose their cultural background to discontinue these conventional secret societies. 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 more 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 are how kids’ energies are released into new and creative possibilities.

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