The Contribution of Quality Religion Education to Development Education in Africa

Mufungulwa Maurice Anakoka


The contribution of quality religion education to development education in Africa is of great value in such a way that those who gain access to it should be able to make a constructive connection between religion education and development education. The main motivating reason for this study is that there is a general perception from some global regions where religious affiliation has promoted religious intolerance which in turn has promoted conflict, instead of reducing it. In this light the researcher, herein, saw it necessary to promote an idea that quality religion education can help promote development education, thus religion education can be a powerful tool for development, in general. In an attempt to establish a relationship between quality religion education and development education, van Ufford and Schofeleers (1988:293) say that there is a close parallel between the social scientific study of religion and that of development. While religion contributes to development education, it has potential to do the opposite hence Brahm (2005) says that interfaith learning can really contribute positively to development education because the learning process can lead to religious tolerance which in turn contributes to peace-building. In addition to this comment, Smock (2006) connotes that religion education contributes to development education in that peace-making on the African continent has significantly contributed in the solving of conflicts in Sudan, Mozambique, and South Africa. According to Glaeser, Edward, and Sacerdote (2008) good religion education can lead to good development education, though the differences may vary from individual to individual, state education system to another, and faith organization to another, but the fact is there is some relationship that exists between religion education and development education. This paper considers religion education as an adult education programme regardless of it including children in its application. Leaders of religion education structures may have different objectives, but the point in focus, herein, is that regardless of the apparent focus, there is education that has a bearing on people’s characters and life styles which affects development status in Africa. With this in mind, the researcher, herein, saw it necessary to advance an idea that religion education structures, or sects, need to have, in themselves, quality assurance mechanisms so as to attend to the degree of quality in their expected outcomes. Religion education, regardless of the quality, has a great influence in the lives of the people. While there are many practicing sects of religion, there are some religious sects that specialize in learning by dominance of music and silence while others focus on learning which is backed by learning support materials. Observation has it that religious sects dominated by use of literature tend to influence religion attendees to engage in education programmes more than those who get dominated by other forms such as music and silence. Preliminary search for the literature for the study has indicated that there is no sufficient literature which is directly linked. Therefore, this study will use the tangential approach to literature review. This study is giving a notion that religion education, if backed by learning support materials like literature, contributes to development in Africa. This study is expected to add value to the following population groups: education development journals, researchers in universities, community development researchers, adult education scholars, religion education practitioners, development education practitioners, and student theologians.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n23p777

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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