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School for progress: the re-routing of BCMS missionaries into education for the end of empire in Karamoja, Uganda.

Christian mission could not have hoped to have more influence on schools in Africa than that which was open to it before the end of empire. To a great extent, the missionary societies had earned their dominant position, having long invested in Western education, while government had hardly extended its role much beyond law and order to commercial development. Even by 1924, 90 per cent of all schools in tropical Africa were mission schools. (1) Missionary statesmen were not complacent about the quality of the effect of those schools, criticizing untrained or unsuitable agents for their part in breaking down "native customs, good and bad alike" and for transplanting from Europe ready-made systems and methods of education. (2) J.H. Oldham, Secretary of the International Missionary Council, was alive to the implications of the state taking responsibility for education in Europe. He foresaw the exclusion of religion from schools, with religious instruction being marginalized by an emphasis on other subjects whose teaching would be better researched. He, and others, saw it as a responsibility of the trusteeship of colonial government to foster African nationalism, in which process education was an essential element. "The more deeply this progress is understood, the more clearly it is seen to be an expression of those Christian purposes which missions exist to further." (3) Education would meet the needs of the masses and the African leaders. At least, the top leadership of Christian mission could not be criticized for lack of foresight or for a surfeit of racism and imperialism.

Church and colonial state in Anglophone Africa

An American experiment in Negro education provided Oldham with material for urging new teaching methods (4). Their distinctiveness was given by relating the total education in a boarding school to the industries, customs, daily behaviour, and thought of the community. Pupils were to be of service to the community, and this would be practised as a necessary part of the scheme: "Education must take account of the life not only of the individual but of the community" (5). Thus intellectually armed, he stimulated the Educational Committee of the Conference of Missionary Societies in Great Britain and Ireland to submit a memorandum in 1923 to the Secretary of State for the Colonies. The memorandum pointed out the need for far larger educational. resources for "the people of Africa to advance in the scale of civilization and in moral and material prosperity" (6). This quickly resulted in the appointment of an Advisory Committee on Education in Tropical Africa, containing an Anglican and a Roman bishop, Sir Frederic k Lugard who had initiated imperial rule in Uganda, Dr Thomas Jesse Jones who had studied Negro education (7), and Oldham himself (8). Thus, the Phelps-Stokes Commission visited East Africa to be "stirred to enthusiasm by what they have actually seen of the work of missions in Africa" (9). The outcome was a synthesis between government and church, which effected a remarkable degree of cooperation in education that persisted for the remainder of the colonial era. While government was willingly granted the moral capacity to determine educational policy and standards, the churches were given the power to govern their schools, grants-in-aid to run them, and acknowledgement of the necessity for religious education.

The allocation of power and resources in the agreement proved to be more pervasive and durable than the educational philosophy on which it was based. By common consent, the colonial and missionary statesmen thought that the progress of education in Africa depended on its religious basis, character-building, the individual's national heritage, teaching in the vernacular (10), and, as far as possible, allegiance to African customs, social sanctions, and tribal solidarity (11). The school should be "a centre of education identical with life itself."(12), and surveys of African homes and recreation would be necessary to implement that. The missionary teachers would ignore community life at their peril: "Be sure of this: the schools of Africa will either save Africa or destroy her." (13)

However, secular methods of education in Britain on the one hand, and missionary suspicion of the priority of mission being diluted in the field on the other, were not so amenable to transformation. Too few attempts were made to implement the official philosophy, which also made the first-order mistake of ignoring what the subjects, or as they were assumed to be, objects, of education actually wanted and worked for out of the process. Did a majority want a foreign religion for its own sake? Did they want to be moulded into the English concept of character? Did they want to be taught in the vernacular? (14) Did they want a national heritage founded on tribal customs, sanctions, and solidarity, or a nationalism founded on the modern, democratic principles they were being taught? The answers to these questions were not usually univocal. It will be the task of this paper to discover some of the outcomes in the northeast region of Uganda.

Applying the colonial agreement in Uganda

The Advisory Committee's policy, of "sympathetic cooperation" was very quickly applied in Uganda, with the government making large grants-in-aid to "normal" primary, secondary, and technical schools, while investing itself in higher education (15). By the end of the 1920s, the trends were already clear.

Because of the old Muslim, Anglican, and Roman rivalries, the government was bound to be neutral, but was taking over more and more of the education given. Oldham's prediction was correct, and the Church Missionary Society (CMS) was following his lead (16). Among missionaries, male recruits were almost entirely educationists, dependent on government grants, and working under conditions laid down by the government, to the exclusion of "the old evangelical type of missionary".

It is almost certain that higher education in Uganda will be entirely secular. The education positions are so many and so well paid that they offer an almost irresistible attraction to the cleverer type of young man and the ranks of the Native clergy will suffer accordingly. (17)

The rewards of secularism in Uganda were paralleled by the shift in the work and ethos of CMS. With its growing liberal and institutional emphases, CMS suffered a painful rupture with its conservative evangelical members, who hived off to form the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society (BCMS) in 1922. Though mission-giving in England increased gradually in the 1920s (18), that of CMS declined. The absorption in education meant that it could no longer expand in Uganda beyond the school compound (19). Thus, CMS never founded a mission-station in Karamoja, just being able to start three sub-grade out-schools in southern Karamoja to the one begun by the Mill Hill Fathers. Building centres for education was the CMS priority, yet Karamoja was never, and did not have, a centre. Though one missionary was keen to go, CMS could not allocate the resources (20). There were only 52 pupils in 1926, mostly adults (21).

The slack, was taken up by the eschatological fervour of the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society, when funded by a bequest from a tobacco heiress in 1929 (22). By then, BCMS had already sorted out the issue of education: "This Society shall under no circumstances provide secular education above the primary stage for non-Christians" (23). In Karamoja, the initial, "old evangelical" impetus of itineration and proclamation soon gave way to buildings and imported institutions, but it was always assumed that the church school would be an essential element of the new mission based at "the place of the elephants", Lotome. It was left to a Bootle blacksmith, named Bob Clark, and his teacher-wife to plug away at elementary education and technical training, while building up a great fund of knowledge of and appreciation from the Karimojong (24) over 26 years. Clark cultivated warm relationships with. the Honorary Secretary of the BCMS in London and with government officers in Karamoja.

The provincial education officer, Kate Gray (5.3.89 (25)), who claimed she was "one of the few Government Education Officers who believed in the Christian Missions running education with Government subsidies" reflected that "(Clark) was the authority on Karamoja...they did as much as any two people could in educating & civilizing a very primitive bit of Africa." If a district commissioner wanted to show a visiting provincial commissioner or governor, a visible example of education and development in the district, inevitably he would take them to Lotome, where they would be given maximum attention. The governor of Uganda stayed at the Clark's for their last Christmas day. After such visits, the director of education would be sent along to offer grants to promote school expansion. Since BCMS funds were strictly limited, dropping 39 per cent in 1932, Clark would accept, eventually committing Lotome to a junior secondary school in contravention of BCMS policy. The funds of a conservative evangelical society were not raised to give the world a Western education, but to evangelize it. Literacy was only necessary for reading and teaching the Bible, while higher education and anything that worked towards it was believed to be corrosive of the faith. Yet, it was an age when missionary society leaders could not deny the significance of the financial factor (26).

It was only government support that kept Bob Clark in Karamoja. When he was called up to fight for king and country in 1941, the District Commissioner at once wrote back to say he was "unavailable". The same year, Clark wrote in the missionary magazine,

We decided that direct Evangelism was very difficult in Karamoja, and so have started schools with the idea of preparing suitable boys and girls who go back to their homes and live the gospel. These are living epistles, known and read of all men. (27)

Yet the recourse to schools was not because they were thought to offer the best option, but because of the failure to perceive satisfactory results from preaching, itinerant evangelism, and Bible translation. Itineration was always hard, and now in wartime when mission funds were low, it had to be admitted that the school work was sustained by the government. Once this esiling (shilling) of the king had been accepted, the mission was in a ratchet system. The Clarks were granted teachers' salaries which helped fund "the work". For an annual grant of [pounds sterling]200 the latter certainly received good value. Hitherto, the government had itself not founded a single school. The Entebbe government had defined Karamoja as a strictly closed district to put a stop to the early 20th-century history of violent conflict with Abyssinian and Swahili incursions revolving around trading in, or raiding, ivory, guns, and slaves. With the failure of the usual techniques of indirect rule, it was soon considered that the mos t prudent policy was to disturb the Karamojong with as few innovations as possible. Since the Karamojong, unlike many in Uganda, were not seeking Western education, the government left it entirely to the voluntary efforts of missions, and only two denominations were permitted by the protectorate government in the whole of Uganda. By 1924, when the district was at last opened to missions, both denominations had run out of expansionist steam. It cannot be emphasized too much that in Africa it was Christian mission which initiated Western education, and government only responded to this development when popular demand took it further than the churches could manage. The role of government was therefore to rationalize and systematize, and to ensure that it issued in secondary and tertiary education to meet the needs of the growing states. Where the missions had not taken the initiative, and notably where there was resistance to education by nomadic peoples, government found itself with no systematic provision of e ducation at all. Since the strongly nomadic pastoralist culture of the Karamojong had deterred both government and missions, the promotion of education in Karamoja could only adopt a "catch-up" mode.

By 1952, it became clear to government that the priority was to prepare for Uganda to be an independent nation state. Karamoja was the only district seriously under-prepared. The governor, Sir Andrew Cohen, believed he could change Uganda in a year or so by pouring money into education (Gray 3.5.89). On visiting Lotome, he was deeply impressed by the practical education there, and concluded that a long-term development programme should be pinned, at least in educational respects, on Lotome as a Karamoja education and training centre (28). The Karamoja Development Scheme was funded by the profits from forced cattle sales to meet a budget of [pounds sterling]200,000 over six years (29). Of this, [pounds sterling]30,000 (30) was allocated to Lotome for the first secondary school in Karamoja, a technical school, a girls' boarding school, a tractor, and cattle for the school farm (31). This was succeeded by the even more frenetic Karamoja Rehabilitation Scheme with a five-year budget of [pounds sterling]250,000. T he idea of a teacher-training school soon arose in order to provide teachers, but government policy was now sowing the seeds faster than the BCMS could assimilate them and quicker than the Clarks could nourish them. Yet the future was moulded far more thoroughly than the occasionalist impulse of Protestant mission could counter.

The route of mission education

It was for the BCMS to find teaching recruits, but government salaries would more than fund their allowances. The general secretary continued to be exercised by the sudden need to produce "a trained and educated Ministry" to take the place of "missionary colleagues", now that growing nationalism (32) in the empire was threatening to have the latter removed. Some missionaries only came to East Africa, because Burma would not give them a visa (White 7.5.90). The executive committee accepted the proposition that, "The Society supports a policy of a well-educated Christian Church." (33) Thus was born the' greatest investment of the BCMS in Karamoja. By 1961, there were 19 missionaries located to the district, all of them involved in school and youth work. Moreover, there were Christian expatriate teachers in the direct employ of the government there, who were in sympathy with BCMS missionaries, who assumed before arrival that their task was to bring people to faith in Jesus but found that "the over-riding aim at that time was to keep the huge tread-mill of government-funded educational work moving" (Haslam 28.4.89).

Visiting the out-schools to supervise teachers was, even for BCMS supporters, a mixed experience.

A few of the schools encourage one, but the majority would make one weep. We ask you to pray and pray that all those who teach in our schools may be truly converted men whose whole life and work will be to the Glory of God. (34)

Teachers were commonly depressed or demoralized and often absent (Haslam 28.4.89). Slowly but surely, the longest-serving missionaries were made into scapegoats, instead of any reassessment of the education policy being undertaken: "The ever-growing problems of the Society's mission in Uganda, centred round the Lotome scheme" (35). The Clarks were removed from Lotome and Bob developed cancer. "Deep sympathy" and [pounds sterling]60 was extended to the widowed Mrs Clark, the long-standing headmistress at Lotome and the most qualified teacher, and to her two sons and daughter, while she was dismissed without pension (Howie 28.11.88).

Even after the demise of the Clarks, BCMS remained committed to education for training an African ministry, reasoning with supporters thus:

There are no Government Schools in most of the area. It is vitally necessary that provision should be made for those who are capable, to go on from reading and writing to become qualified to lead the Christian Church in time to come. Some of the latest steps taken in East Africa will meet those needs at least for some of the tribes. It is clear that the most valuable work that missionaries can do is this twofold task of translating and of preparing men and women as workers and leaders to their own people. (36)

English was the only language taught in the junior secondary school. The teacher training college began to be built in 1956, and boys went "out to the villages Sunday by Sunday to hold services" (37). There were 17 "boys", all "'professing Christians', but how deep is their faith we are uncertain. Some seem hardened and one quite antagonistic to what he calls 'European deception'" (38). Only a fraction was actually Karamojong (39). The lack of numerical growth would prove to be most significant relative to Western education elsewhere.

In November 1959, about 50 boys finished junior secondary school at Lotome.

Very, very few, after 8 years of education, wish to go back to farming in their villages, yet the standard of education they have reached is not very high. Their aim is to get to Senior Secondary Schools, but few can do so.; in all Uganda only 843 boys gained places in S. S. Schools last year.

Some boys train as nursing orderlies, some go to agricultural schools or to teacher training, some to clerical work in Government offices. But the openings for clerical work are very limited and the requirements for entry into this work are becoming higher in standard.

Of these 50 boys, about 15 have professed to be Christians. Pray for these boys, who are now scattered throughout Uganda and find it hard to stand up against bribery, drink and immorality. (40)

Education was observed to divide the local community "as boys with a smattering of education often considered themselves superior to village people" (Fowler 12.88). "Karamojong were strongly resistant to education -- not just indifferent to it but hostile." (Fleay 14.12.89) At the same time, the BCMS annual report was looking to the future:

The various educational projects have constituted an essential part of the work, and given adequate pastoral supervision, should bear much fruit in coming days.

Educationists are urgently needed so that ordained missionaries at present in school work may be released for evangelistic and pastoral duties. (41)

Elsewhere in East Africa, the BCMS was alive to the ambiguities of mission education.

The number of dismissals for serious moral lapses in at least one territory is alarmingly high, and is not lessening. In one instance the number of dismissals of fully trained teachers in one year was the same as the complete output of one of the training institutions. (42)

Girls' schooling

Girls' schooling had been tried right from the beginning. Molly Hill (43) and Doris Clark had failed. Estelle Hollinshead used to go to the classroom to teach every morning, and remain for hours with no pupils. At a later stage there would be 14 pupils, while officially there were six classes! Nancy Williams (nee Lockett) was forthright in a letter to supporters (44): "Humanly speaking, the school has little hope of success. Local opinion at the moment [sic] is against education in general, and girls' education in particular." The local elders were saying that education was spoiling the people, because the schoolboys showed no respect for the elders, parents, or tribal discipline, and many customs, which she admitted, helped towards peace and unity. "It is quite true that education without Jesus Christ will spoil these people. Education has come to stay, and we cannot stop it, nor do we want to..." Yet, the girls were not so willing to labour in the fields, and there was every year a direct clash between crop s and school, and in higher classes, between marriage and school.

Many of our educated lads have taken the law into their own hands and have taken the wife they want, without paying a bride price, and without the permission of the parents.. they often make no effort whatever to pay any of the bride price either before or after marriage.. .very few people here have been married in church. Their wedding is not Christian, neither is it tribal, and very often it falls through and they do not consider it as binding.

Another big problem is the care and supervision of the girls in the school. Moral problems seem to arise in many girls' schools in East Africa, and again this leads to criticism among the village people...(45)

A little later, the witness of a "saved" teacher, Leah Apaku, meant "Many girls turned to the Lord" (MacNutt 12.88), but these minor miracles had little general effect.

Problems for school attendance and management may Sound Similar to experience elsewhere in Africa, but, given the cultural context, they were more fundamental and significant. In more agrarian, commercial, or industrial localities, there grew an African consciousness of insertion into a wider Western-dominated world with various attractions, including wealth and power with a much quicker route on offer to ambitious young people. However, the nomadic pastoralist Karamojong were much more suspicious of the rewards offered by outsiders. They valued their own political autonomy, which continued over most aspects of their culture. Traders they called slippery, and money was of no value compared with cattle, which alone conferred marriage, status, visible wealth, and the proof of wisdom or divine blessing. School education denied their young enculturation into the practices of all that was valuable. If boys and young men did not live with the family herds in cattle camps and move around distant dry-season grazing a reas, then they failed to pick up the vital skills of caring for cattle at the most difficult and insecure times. The long dry season consumed the most important part of the academic year.

It was certainly the case that the BCMS missionaries, because of their conservative evangelical confession, were more suspicious of the institutions they found they were creating than were CMS missionaries elsewhere, whose policy coincided with the grand idea of trusteeship to foster African nationalism. It is not that the BCMS missionaries demurred from the assumption of inherent goodness in civilization and Western education, but that they doubted its appropriateness for such an unreconstructed pastoral people. These doubts and suspicions added to the internecine quality of some of the missionary disputes, but it was not the mission agenda, which made most of the difference in the school education of the Karamojong. It was the sense of the futility of their work, which failed to yield the fulfilment of nurturing the careers of keen African pupils, that gave solace to CMS teachers elsewhere. Even when BCMS missionaries created institutions, they found them filling up with non-Karamojong. The Karamojong did n ot fit the grand purpose, for they eschewed any nationalist project.

The "Karamoja problem"

At the end of empire in 1961, only three per cent of the population of Uganda received any sort of education, overwhelmingly boys and mostly not Karamojong or even from within Karamoja. More than one mission was still in the early 1960s "at the stage" of distributing sweets to attract children to its school (46). Neither did the situation change with the massive investment made by the independent government determined to reduce the "vivid contrast" between Karamoja and the rest of Uganda. The skeleton in the national cupboard, criminally neglected by the divide-and-rule policies of the imperialists, needed dressing quickly, if the new state were to appear to carry weight in the affairs of civilized nations. There were no Jie girls at all in Kotido Girls' Primary School when it opened. It took two years before any were enrolled and then the sole method available to the missionary headmistress:

was by ordering the chiefs to go out and round them up and drive them in like cattle, at the point of a spear, and later at the point of a gun. I mean that's the only way they would come in. And the minute you took your eyes off them, they all ran away again. We had literally to lock them in, and we lost most of them...I was always out hunting for the children in the villages, because I had to keep the number up on the roll I was supposed to have. (Barton 4.11.88)

If a good worker was rounded up, the family would come with a sister, who was a poor worker, to exchange for her, so that she could labour on the crops, which were the responsibility of women. The school "used to end up with the lame, the halt, and the blind" (47). Mary Morris Jones (23.7.89) encountered a host of problems in Lotome Girls' School during the first two months of 1965. Meningitis took both a son and a daughter of the MP for South Karamoja, who then issued death threats against two teachers and four girls. Two teachers went to hospital and the girls refused to stay in the school buildings. Two male students were found to be with a teacher and two girls. For Karamojong families, this was a spoiling of their daughters. It seemed that they were being taught to be morally loose, leading to a double loss for parents. Not only did their girls learn to aspire to avoid the laborious life of home and garden, but they failed to attract much bride wealth, if at all. This may have been fine for the liberatio n of women from a patriarchal structure, but in fact Karamojong women had a relatively high morale, and were generally more conservative than their men. Most alternatives outside of the political communities entrenched in Karamoja were not enviable, frequently ending in concubinage to teachers, or to local government or army officers. There simply had not been the social transition, despite increasing numbers of people being educated, as has happened in so many of the more sedentary populations of Africa.

Thus, when an infinitesimal proportion of Karamojong girls were educated, what was the outcome for Christian mission? Sylvia Barton (loc.cit.) gives a clear answer from the Western perspective. To her, it was obvious that if girls wanted to stay for the teaching, they would want to change:

Once they came into school and there were lots of bathrooms and occasionally water and they got used to being clean and wearing clothes, they couldn't go back to skins and they couldn't go back to the villages where there were no decent latrines and washing places, and we used try and persuade them to go back and live the gospel in their villages, but, I mean, "Who wants to?" once you have learnt to live a clean, respectable life, to go back in there where you can t and that's been one of the big problems obviously all the way through...So education and Christianity was not permeating back into the villages.

A mission strategy that adopted an holistic Western education with a prescribed hygiene and lifestyle, in that it succeeded at all, could hardly achieve anything other than enculturate the pupils into a modern Ugandan culture (48). By definition, they were lost to Karamojong culture, and were most likely to marry outside of it, if they were able to reach such a status from their irregular position in society.

Intention and outcome

The missionary-colonial policy aimed for the holistic educational approach in a boarding-school environment (49) but had wisely insisted that the content of the education be deliberately and carefully related to the needs of the community. Quite clearly in the case of Karamoja, and less clearly but still significantly elsewhere in most other parts of East Africa, a combination of expatriate European and national Africans were prepared neither in intention nor in skills and capacity to rethink education for the context of Karamoja. Even if they had been so prepared, they would not have been free to do so, for national policy, implemented inflexibly and unreflectively at the local level, held to a far more stringent "civilizing" objective than either colonial administrator or missionary had done (50). Yet it was the missionary who found him/herself "trapped" with the laborious task of seeing it implemented (51). Christian mission in the BCMS, as in the CMS, had chosen dependence. The Uganda government took dire ct control of education at the beginning of 1965 and ceased paying for the Kenyan education of the children of expatriate teachers. Some missionaries had left the BCMS for government service, as the society had stopped paying such benefits. These moves occasioned a haemorrhaging of the personnel that had been gathered at the beginning of the decade. After a year's indecision, the BCMS never again, allocated a missionary to a Lotome school. The presumption that, "wisdom to avoid hazards and grace and strength to continue are always given" (52) had not come to pass.

Once Christian mission in Karamoja had chosen the education strategy, it proved remarkably impervious to the realities of Karamoja, which in turn remained unusually resistant to the church. Thus, an Ulster missionary to Karamoja for 16 years, and the first Bishop of Karamoja, held long after that Christian mission is not a matter of shouting at the trees (Herd 21.2.89).

It is a matter of bringing the children from the rural areas into schools effectively and teaching them in a boarding school situation. It seems to me the pattern to work there. Then they would go back to the rural areas to be submerged by them or influence them for good.

How youths, denied a significant part of their enculturation into Karamojong life, were supposed to convert elders, who were, in indigenous belief, closer to God, has always remained a mystery. Seldom has it happened.

By this control study of a people who have maintained a preponderant continuity with their traditional culture, it is evident that education and nationalism did go hand in hand in Uganda. It was the intention of mission and Colonial Office strategists in London for 40 years. While the CMS Mission in Uganda had volunteered for the project of Western education, the BCMS in Britain and the Karamojong at large did not. Those on the ground in Karamoja expended heroic efforts trying to implement a strategy which, in fact, was theologically far removed from the convictions of the missionary society. That was but one guarantee of its failure in Karamoja. In other districts of Uganda, education did indeed foster nationalism, and the long investment of mission education brought it about quickly. Uganda inserted itself into world affairs, to use the terminology of Jean-Francois Bayart, by learning "the grammar of extraversion and dependence" (53). "For dependence is a historical experience in which people create themsel ves as subjects." (54) Ugandans chose subjection in order to appropriate the benefits of a modern nation state. The Karamojong chose to reject Western education, and with it the Christian church, to maintain their autonomy (55). In this they have very largely succeeded, so that currently it is they who have increased their freedom, at the expense of church and state in and around Karamoja. The Republic of Uganda only governs the Karamojong in very nebulous ways, which they themselves do not recognize. Their traditional, acephalous government and jural system remain largely undisturbed, though these must be the concerns of another paper (56). The global tide has not washed over the Karamojong, who are increasing their command of the local situation. According to the 1991 national census, the Karamojong had the lowest sex ratio and by far the lowest female literacy at 4.5 per cent (57), suggesting a continued future of multiple, traditional wives. When is Christian mission in Africa going to realize that tying its future to Western cultural narratives, whether modern or postmodern, is not going to give a simplistic short-cut to salvation?

NOTES

(1.) Oldham, J.H., "The Christian Opportunity in Africa: Some reflections on the Report of the Phelps-Stokes Commission", International Review of Missions (IRM) 14/54, 1925, p. 175.

(2.) Id., "Christian Missions and the Education of the Negro", IRM 7/26, 1918, p. 244.

(3.) Id., op. cit., IRM 1925, p. 175.

(4.) Cf. Dickinson, Charles Henry, "Samuel Armstrong's Contribution to Christian Missions", IRM 10/40, 1921, p. 509-24; Oldham, op. cit., IRM 1918; Loram, C.T., "The Phelps-Stokes Education Commission in South Africa", IRM 10/40, pp. 496-508; Monroe, Paul, "Mission Education and National Policy", IRM 10/39. 1921, pp. 321-51; Sadler, Michael E, "Education for Life and Duty", IRM 10/40, 19, pp. 449-67.

(5.) Oldham, op. cit., IRM, 1918, p. 245.

(6.) Id., "Education Policy of the British Government in Africa", IRM 14/55,1925, p. 421.

(7.) Jones, Thomas Jesse, Education in East Africa, London, Edinburgh Press, 1925. Cf. also Dougall, J.W.C., "Thomas Jesse Jones: Crusader for Africa," IRM 39/155, 1950, p.311-17.

(8.) CMS Uganda was able to use the Committee to enforce its views on education to a government that was considering other options. Hansen, Holger Bernt, Mission, Church, and State in a Colonial Setting: Uganda 1890-1925, London, Heinemann, 1984, p. 248 f.

(9.) Oldham, op. cit., IRM 14/54, 1925, p. 180.

(10.) So Spanton, E.F., "Building the African Church: Second Paper", IRM 15/59, 1926, p. 469, and Walker, W.B., "The Church Overseas and Colonial Education", IRM 33/131, 1944, p. 273. The Phelps-Stokes report fully recognised the requirements of their approach: 'The most careful linguistic work is required for creating the necessary expressions to convey the new ideas' (Baudert, S., "Thoughts and Reflections on the Education of Africans", IRM 20/80, p. 528). In the expansion of education, it was always possible that linguistically proficient missionaries would be too thin on the ground, and secular educationists and teachers would not be given the time to learn the languages and cultures well enough, so that they could then go back to transform education and make it at all African. The teacher 'meets in almost all the African territories the particular opposition which his efforts arouse in the Natives themselves. They want to learn English or French. In all efforts directed to giving instruction as far as po ssible in their Mother tongue they see with suspicion only the endeavour of the European to hold them back and raise up barriers which hinder them from filling their hands with the tempting treasures of Europe and its education.' (ibid., p. 529).

(11.) Baudert, op. cit., p. 52Sf; Bovet, Pierre, "Education as viewed by the Phelps-Stokes Commission", IRM 15/59 1926, pp. 483-92; Westermann, Diedrich, "The Value of the African's Past", IRM 15/59, pp. 18-37; Williams, Garfied H, "Relations with Government in Education: British Colonies in Tropical Africa", IRM 14/53, 1925, pp. 3-24.

(12.) Bovet, op. cit., p. 490.

(13.) Williams, op. cit., p. 24.

(14.) The resistance to teaching in African languages was a very widespread phenomenon, repeatedly catching teachers and authorities by surprise, and even leading to insurrection against Kiswahili in the Buxton School at Mombasa. Teaching could hardly be in indigenous languages in secondary schools since they served wide areas, but still Ugandans 'objected strongly to Kiswahili as a lingua franca' (Cook, Albert R., "The Church in Uganda Today", IRM 29/78, 1931, p. 262).

(15.) Ibid., p. 259.

(16.) This advertisement, 'The Specific Task of the CMS in Africa' was placed in the International Review of Missions: To-day governments in East and West Africa are requesting the C.M.S. to develop their Christian schools and training of teachers, and are offering generous financial assistance. Each of these has been recognized as a call from God. To-day the C.M.S. is seeking men and women -- graduates, trained teachers, and technical instructors -- to enable the Society to fully respond to the new call. (CMS, "The Specific Task of the CMS in Africa", IRM 15/59, 1926, p. 12.)

(17.) Cook, op. Cit., p. 260. The correctness of this prediction has been confirmed in retrospect by the observations of my OCMS research students, John Magumba in Busoga and Joel Obetia in West Nile. Indeed, across East Africa, the church, with very significant exceptions, has generally attracted second or third rate intellectual ability and given it commensurate education, to the extent that the highly educated have looked down on the clergy who feel now that they have no recognised role even in church schools.

(18.) Quarterly Notes 11, "Comparative Missionary Finance", IRM 15/59, 1926, p. iii.

(19.) In the middle of the 1920s, CMS sought 25 per cent cuts in mission spending, missionary allowances, and recruits, if not the total withdrawal of missionaries.

(20.) Knighton, BP, Christian Enculturation in Karamoja, Uganda. PhD Thesis, University of Durham, 1990, pp. 399-405.

(21.) Battle, Vincent M., Selective Conservation in Culture Contact: A study of educational adaptation in the Karamoja District of Uganda, MA Dissertation, Faculty of Teachers' College, Columbia University, 1970, p. 44.

(22.) Knighton, op. cit., pp. 432-46.

(23.) Houghton, A.T., It's their Souls We Seek, London, BCMS, 1947, p. 27.

(24.) The peoples of the plains of Karamoja share a common language, Ngakaramojong, and a predominant historical origin, as well as cultural similarities, but they are not a political community, though they are commonly known as Karamojong. There is tribal unity and identity within the Dodos in the north, the Jie in the centre, and the Karimojong in the south, though the latter are often divided according to territorial division and may fight.

(25.) Interviews were conducted with 22 missionaries and 6 colonial officers. Questionnaires and correspondence provided an even greater range of informants, the date of its writing being given in brackets. There were no great divisions of opinion among the sources, except over Roman Catholic issues and the dismissal of the Clarks. Some of the missionaries responded with a blank silence over the notorious skeletons in BCMS's Karamoja cupboard.

(26.) Knighton, op. cit., pp. 464-70.

(27.) Missionary Messenger (MM) 19/221, p. 54f. MM was the official magazine of the society comprising reports from the fields edited by the London office. With Daniel Bartlett in control of this, as well as the BCMS, it provided a copious record that made a profit on sales.

(28.) Clark, Doris and Totty, Annette, Looking at East Africa, London, BCMS, 1953, p. 6.

(29.) Being forced to sell their cattle was the most hateful and humiliating experience for the Karamojong pastoralists, and it engendered continual resentment. Had they known that the Lotome mission station was being funded directly out of their diminution their tolerance for the schools there would have been quickly exhausted. Looked at from the viewpoint of Christian evangelistic aims, this means of mission is deeply paradoxical, except when enculturation into Western ideology is seen as evangelism. The missionaries were actually more conscious of the paradox than of any urge to Westernize, but the limitations of their theological tradition afforded them few alternatives.

(30.) The total BCMS income for 1954 was [pounds sterling]58,836, and the number of serving missionaries was down to 105. BCMS, The Statistical Report for 1954, London, 1955, p. 9.

(31.) Knighton, op. cit., p. 488.

(32.) 'Among Africans there is a growing impatience of a paternal attitude on the part of Europeans.' (Wrong, Margaret, "The Church's Task in Africa south of the Sahara", IRM 36/142, pp. 206-31.) A rump of the BCMS blamed mission education for producing nationalism, which was seen as 'one of the greatest of the problems which confront the missionary today'. Education would only ever save a few: 'For others the results of education have been sophistication, pride, political consciousness, and nationalism'. (Stokes, David E., The Powers That Be: Missions and National Governments, London, BCMS, 1947, p. 8).

(33.) MM 35/359, p. 10.

(34.) MM 34/358, p. 89.

(35.) BCMS, The Statistical Report for 1956. London, BCMS 1957, p. 8.

(36.) MM 34/356, p. 56.

(37.) MM 34/358, p. 88.

(38.) MM 35/364, p. 91.

(39.) All informants who comment witness to a minority of the boys being Karamojong, and most of the girls being teachers' children. For example, 34 out of 84 boys at Lotome Junior Secondary School were Karamojong in 1958 (Morris Jones 23.7.89; Haslam 28.4.89). It is difficult to find historical sources for generally-voiced Karamojong opinion, as the most likely recorded informants were educated to a standard that would lead them to justify their education, even if they criticised the content of that education for its Western bias (Lorec, John, Christianity in Karamoja, research paper for diploma in theology, University of Makerere, 1981). The best indication is therefore the 'voting with feet' that took place, viz, the tendency of Karamojong pupils to drop out of school before completing primary education, and the small numbers who enrolled in the first place.

(40.) MM 38/1, p. 8.

(41.) BCMS, Make it Plain. The Story of the Year 1959, London, BCMS, 1960, p.57.

(42.) MM 37/3, p. 39f.

(43.) 'I started a girls' school [1932] -- it was fraught with trouble as the young men tried to lure them away -- & there would be screaming & shouting at night, even tho' we had a night watchman -- so I had to abandon it.' (MacKenzie 13.5.89).

(44.) BCMS, Frontiers To Be Crossed: The Story of the Year 1958, London, BCMS, 1959, pp. 24-26.

(45.) Ibid.

(46.) Barber, James P., Imperial Frontier, Nairobi, East Africa Publishing House, 1968, p. 215.

(47.) There were a few Jie boys in Kotido Mixed, but no 'village people' who attended church regularly. On his fieldwork visit to Kotido in 1965, Philip Gulliver (12.11.88) recalled that 'Jie fathers were refusing to allow their sons to go to the new government school. They saw no value in western-type education and, in my time with them, no value in Christianity...' Though Bob Clark-had made 'a little' difference among the Karimojong, parents' attitudes throughout Karamoja toward schooling remained ambivalent at best, or the opposition to the whole idea was violent. Even in 1970, 17 out of 24 schoolboys had experienced family apposition at the beginning (Battle, op. Cit., pp. 31, 58).

(48.) The approach of the Clarks was very different. To the horror of the new generation of missionaries, they had provided not a single latrine for any of the pupils at Lotome (White 7.5.90), in conformity with.the culture. However, the schools still tended to have the same effect. That the lessons of failure have not been learned explains much of the 'unhappy history' (loc.cit.) of the first 50 years of BCMS mission in Karamoja.

(49.) This is at long last being questioned in the Anglican Church of Kenya, where a chairman of the Provincial Board of Education, Rt Revd Moses Njue, was calling in 1998 for a shift to day schools, in order to prevent boys being enculturated out of any respect for authority, represented not only by elders and teachers, but also the parents who would have to pay for the cost of any riot damage to school fabric.

(50.) The reductio ad absurdum of this tendency was for that pillar of Western modernity, President Idi Amin, to order his soldier to kill those Karamojong found not fully clothed. Most were not, so many were indeed shot.

(51.) This common feeling of the missionaries, articulated by Haslam (28.4.89), justifics Hansen's analysis (op. cit., p. 257) of the Ugandan settlement of the education issue, where the CMS used the secular argument for state support of educational services and won, only to find its total work, which the government was prepared to acknowledge, was fragmented.

(52.) Hacking, H., Tangled Thickets, London, BCMS, 1955, p. 22.

(53.) Bayard, Jean-Francois, "Africa in the World. A History of Extraversion", in African Affairs, 99 (2000), p. 254.

(54.) Ibid., p. 264.

(55.) Bayart asserts that some 'forms of rejection can also be modes of appropriation and reinvention...just as are the independent churches in regard to world Christianity', ((bid., p. 265). It would equally be an overstatement to claim that the Karamojong appropriate and reinvent nothing, as it would be to place the Karamojong in the African context that Bayart assumes. They have not gone through the process of appropriating the Christian church in order to have to reject it by forming independent ones as neighbouring peoples have. In general, they have rejected Western values and priorities, including its ecclesiastical and educational expressions. That Western values and priorities were mediated by national Ugandans was a serious element that the Karamojong disliked.

(56.) Knighton, B.P., Traditions and "Traditionalism" among the Karamojong, paper presented to the North East Africa Seminar of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford (UK) 4.12.1999.

(57.) Uganda Government, Uganda Census. 2001. Available at http://www.undp-org/popin/softproj/pmappl/uganda-private/sexrcoun.htm (accessed 4.6.2001). (This page no longer appears to be available. Ed.).

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Ben P. Knighton *

* Dr Ben Knighton is registrar and research tutor for the Oxford Centre of Mission Studies. He is a former principal of St Andrew's College of Theology and Development, Kabare, Kenya, where he lived from 1991 to 1998. Ben Knighton worked for the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society (BCMS), now called "Crosslinks", in Karamoja from 1984 to 1986; this enabled him to complete a thesis on the history and culture of the Karamojong.
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