The Human Development Resource Centre (HDRC) is an interdisciplinary, equal opportunity facility registered in 1995 in Cameroon for research, policy, and societal outreach on lifespan human development, with special focus on the next generations--children and youth--in families and communities facing rapid social and technological challenges.
When scholars and researchers apply Western theories, epistemes and best-practice models in Africa, they are surprised that they do not exactly fit. This is logical given that no existing theory fittingly explains contemporary Africa's triple-strand cultural braid (Nsamenang, 2005). But the gulf between academic literature, international policy standards and Africa's existential realities has seldom been systematically charted, hence the salience of challenging African scholars and professionals to rethink how best to connect their westernized values and education to the sorry state of their continent and countries. The efforts of the HDRC to translate state-of-the-art literature and its own research into child and youth-friendly services hyped our sensitivity to this largely unexplored gap.
The awareness prompted the HDRC to become an Africa-sensitive advocate, tacitly exhorting African scholars and their development partners to generate intellectual properties within Africa's theory of the universe. If research that generates Africa-centric knowledge does not happen, Africa will persist as eternal knowledge and technology importer. The goal of our advocated generative processes is to access new frontiers of knowledge and provoke critical personal and collective awareness into research and development (R&D) that can gradually snowball into an African contribution to universal knowledge of scientific value (UNESCO, 1999). Our move originates in the generally muted reality that scientific inquiries and discoveries are rooted in, and spring from, contextualized "biases." Western scholarship, for example, is so-called precisely because some Western ideological values rather than universal value indicators constitute the foundational platform of contemporary Western science and the universalism it exudes (Kashoki, 1982).
The HDRC positions education in general and transformational teacher training in particular as an effective strategy to tackle the rupture between schooled knowledge and African livelihoods. Teachers are the hub of transformational education that begins with ECCE (early childhood care and...