In Black Africa, stagnant waters are one of the main causes of high mortality in disadvantaged areas. These are small natural water curtains (streams, rainwater puddles …) or artificial (sewage) which, with the accumulation of garbage and lack of consistent hygiene eventually stops flowing and thereby “stagnats”. From that moment, they become real killing machines, causing diseases, epidemics and viruses.
But these are not dirty streams and rivers that are subject of our discussions this time. No, because one of the consequences of mortality in Africa, are also the people who behave like stagnated water. That is to say, individuals who, after completing their training in a specific area, rest on their laurels and think they no longer need to learn more. Beyond the fact that they have made the mono training, that is to say, they have specialized in one area, they have not realized that the world is constantly moving and that the truths of yesterday can become the lies of tomorrow.
For example: In antiquity, at a time when anesthesia did not exist, surgery were done on a conscious person. The only way to endure the pain was to bite a piece of cloth. To alleviate the suffering of the patient, the surgeon simply had to “hurry”. With the invention of modern anesthesia techniques, interventions are safer, and a lot less painful, preventing serious complications.
So a doctor trained in the era preceding the anesthesia will be obliged to review his books and to master new treatment technologies. He will have to relearn everything as a student on his first day of school. Because it must be emphasized, if technology improves overtime, new and bizarre diseases previously unknown also appear over time and require increasingly sophisticated treatment. The doctor who undertakes to treat new diseases with old and outdated methods is just like stagnated water. And as stagnant water, it will result in his delirium, preventable loss of many individuals.
In fact, this phenomenon is well observed within the academic setting and others. Most university lectures, teachers and professors are more teachers than researchers, while in the West, the majority of teachers at the university publish books and work on the development of personal theories in their respective fields to contribute to the Nation building. Whereas Africa is still like stagnant water, very intelligent people think owning a PhD in Economics gives them miraculously an absolute knowledge on all economic theorems. Big mistake.
For this is rather why Africa does not develop. Instead of working on economic models to the African that will respond to African needs and wants, our Doctors and experts are actually showing their expertise in plagiarism of foreign models and not necessarily compatible to the African paradigm.
So they recite Karl Marx by heart, forgetting that Deng Xiaoping himself had read Marx, but did not cut and paste, but developed a mixture which was in accordance to chinese culture and philosophy and the result is what we have to day, a prosperous china.
So instead of creating lessons that will empower people, our teachers teach the same things every year just like stagnant water, nothing evolves and nothing lives in it.
What Africa needs is for a dynamic and creativity, Men and women, able to understand the issues and the direction in which our world is headed. Africa wants a youth who learns. A youth who educates and teaches again and again. A youth who digs for answers, questions, doubts, wonders, analysis and questions.
A youth which can create circuits of reflections on the ways out of colonization that has never disappeared. To current problems exists solutions. We will achieve nothing if we limit ourselves to books written 150 years ago. We must add freshness and correct imperfections. It’s like updating or update the Windows system from a computer. It’s like the wardrobe of an infant that renews every 3 months because the child grows and his clothes are becoming smaller for her growing body.
It is in finding that the things of the world are undergoing perpetual movements that a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus that said, “Panta Rhei” (“everything changes”). He who has not noticed that life is an eternal learning process is simply stagnant water. And stagnant water whatever their shapes, tastes and smells. are harmful to health, the environment and life.