Implications of the Muslim-Christian Education Gap in Africa

A recent study by the Pew Research Centre has revealed that there exists a considerable Muslim-Christian education gap in sub-Saharan Africa. Whilst Christians average six years of formal schooling, for Muslims the figure is fewer than three years[i]. Much of the reason for this gap lay in the colonial past on the part of the both the colonial authorities and Muslim communities. Western-style educational schooling in Africa was introduced by Christian missionaries. Colonial authorities were loath to allow these missionary schools to operate in Muslim-dominated areas in an effort to avoid religious conflict[ii]. In other cases Muslim parents fearing discrimination of and conversion to Christianity of their children prevented them from attending such schools.

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