AVOIDING CHRISTIANITY – A WEAPON IN EDUCATING ‘SAVAGE’ PASTORALISTS: A CASE STUDY OF NILOTIC BURADIGA IN TANZANIA
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Pastoral Buradiga herders are among the poorest and most vulnerable populations in Tanzania. Like many East African pastoralists Buradiga have become marginalised within the national economy. They are struggling to survive and to retain their traditional lifestyle. Reaching them with formal or informal education has become a major challenge. For the modern Tanzanian society, education is seen as an instrument of transforming pastoralists into settled farmers, labourers, modern livestock producers, and loyal citizens. The education-for-development approaches are accounts of pastoralists’ poverty and assume that education will improve their standard of living. Together with national politics, Christianity/missionaries played, and still play, an important role in influencing pastoralists to change their traditional belief, which is represented by sending children to schools. This paper charts the past and the current (educational) activities of missionaries among pastoralists especially the Datoga clan Buradiga in central Tanzania and the way how the concept of preaching was and is received by them. In particular, the focus is on how Christianity is impacting the abandoning of the traditional way of life in a small Burediga community and subsequent change in approach towards education.
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