Colonial Social Services | History Form Three

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Colonial social services were the services provided by the colonialists which involved the provision of education, health, water, housing and electrical services.

Colonial Education

Colonial education was provided during the colonial period. Because of poverty and discrimination few Africans were able to join schools.

Objectives of Colonial Education

1. To train Africans so they may be used as administrators for lowest posts e.g. messengers and clerks.

2. Colonial education was introduced to train the sons and daughters of European colonial masters together with Asians.

3. To produce African puppets who were brainwashed to favor the colonial government.

4. To expand the market for manufactured goods from Europe. Learners in school were taught to buy the goods imported in the colonies.

5. To provide agricultural knowledge so as Africans would produce raw materials.

6. Destruction of African culture and spread of European culture. This is because learners of colonial education were supposed to follow European culture like dancing, eating style, language, religion and marriage.

Features of Colonial Education

1. Pyramid shape quality

The number of students who started at lower levels reduced as they went to higher levels.

2. Schools were built in areas with economic importance

For example, in Kenya many schools were built in Kenyan highlands which were a prime area for coffee production.

3. It was Discriminative in nature

There were Asian schools, European schools and others for Africans. Africans received poor education as compared to Europeans and Asians.

4. It was provided to the sons of African chiefs

Sons of peasant never received this education.

5. Schools were built in urban areas

They built their schools by looking where many settlers were living.

6. Education was basically about European culture

For example, training involved the use of foreign languages such as English and French.

Impact of Colonial Education on African Societies

1. It produced educated elites who organized their fellow Africans to fight for independence e.g. J.K Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah.

2. Colonial education killed Africans' skills at large, these skills remained in theory. Example of those skills are medicine, local industries etc.

3. It produced classes between the educated and those who were not educated.

4. Colonial education led to the destruction of the African culture e.g. on dressing and eating.

5. It transmitted European culture and killed African culture.

6. It extended the market for manufactured goods from Europe. Educated people competed in consumption of manufacturing goods.

Colonial Health Services

Colonial health services they were the health services provided by the colonists to serve the colonists and the African workers. Many hospitals were built.

Objective of colonial health

1. To give medicine to African peasant and labors in order to maintain labour power.

2. To improve the living standard of the whites. This is because they were sure to get treatment when they got sick.

3. To destroy African medication services.

4. To prevent and cure the white imposed diseases such as tuberculosis.

5. To get profit by selling drugs and other medications to the Africans.

6. To provide employment opportunities to the Europeans doctors who were unemployed in Europe.

Provision of water and housing services during the colonial Era

During the colonial Era, colonialists provided water and housing services in their colonies.

The motives for provision of colonial water and housing services

1. To encourage the European settlement

More whites would have agreed to live in Africa because of the availability of housing and water.

2. To find a place for living Africans labor

Many Africans were taken from their homes and sent to the plantation. There they needed housing.

Distribution pattern of water and housing services

Housing and water services were provided in areas occupied by colonialists and African labors. It depended on economic value of an area.

Areas that were not beneficial to whites especially in rural, there was no water or housing.

Africans lived in slums and were scattered in different parts of the capital city. Such slums were made using cheap materials poles, grass and tins. Example in Nairobi Kenya slums were scattered while the Europeans settled in better- drained neighborhoods.

Impact of the provision of colonial water and housing services on African societies

1.   Emergency of slums

Slum emerged due to lack of adequate shelter. In these houses, illicit activities such as the sale of illegal liquor, theft and drug trafficking take place.

2.   Emergence of nationalism

Africans were living a difficult life and were excluded from access to housing and water. This gave them the wrath to unite together to oust the colonists. Mau Mau liberation war is a vivid example.

3.   Spread of diseases

Diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria affected Africans due to poor water services and housing available for African communities.

4.   Many Africans died

Many Africans died as a result of poor condition of living in colonial urban centers.

Revision Questions

1.   Why the British in East Africa provided colonial health services to few areas such as settler plantation areas, military camps and cash crops producing areas?

A       To make their subjects support the colonial rule.

B       To keep their subjects wealthier and resistant to diseases.

C       To make their subjects fit for economic production.

D       To make their subject loyal to the colonial state.

E       To stop their subjects from using traditional medicine.

2.   How would you prove that colonial education was an agent of division and racism in colonial Africa?

3.   Outline five objectives of colonial education in Africa.

4.   Colonial education had a positive results to Africa since

A       it prepared the Africans to accept colonialism.

B       it provided elites who served in colonial governments.

C       it created post-colonial leaders.

D       it propagated African culture.

E       it developed African technology.

5.   “Colonial health system was discriminative.” Substantiate this statement by giving six points.

6.   The following was one of the characteristics of colonial education except

A       it based on rudimentary curriculum

B       it segregated the Africans

C       it focused on literacy and numeracy

D       it reflected the interests of the Africans.

E       it was provided to few people.


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