Demystifying education for the development of underdevelopment: A critical expose’ of Paulo Freire (1990)’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed


  • Modester Dadirai Ngwerume Midlands State University, Zimbabwe
  • Tenson Tawanda Mugodzwa Midlands State University, Zimbabwe


pedagogy, empowerment, banking education, liberative pedagogy.


This paper interrogates Paulo Reglus Neves Freire (1921-1997) book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed in relation to the current Zimbabwean education system. The authors believe that the education system is still rooted in the colonial education system, four decades after attaining independence. Although concepts such as Education 5.0, together with the new curriculum have been implemented in the education sector, the subjects’ content do not subscribe to the idea of industrialisation, research and innovation thus maintaining in the students, the colonial culture of domination, subordination and subjugation. Freire considers the education system as an instrument for social transformation, that can promote revolutionary social change, a situation urgently needed in the current Zimbabwean education system. Pedagogy of the Oppressed can be regarded as a struggle against mental colonisation and social annihilation and a positive path towards mental emancipation and total empowerment. The aim of this paper is to analyse the extent to which the new Zimbabwean curriculum is being used as a tool to emancipate students as the education sector embraces the concept of Education 5.0 with a special focus on the high school history subject. The study adopted a qualitative approach located within the contours of interpretivism to analyse Freire’s ideas on education of the oppressed masses. The study found that the current education system still entraps students in the colonial thinking of completing studies and finding employment rather than creating employment.






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