TRANSCENDING THE METHOD OF “IGBAJI CHALK”
Moving from the Old to the New in the Nigerian Educational System
The concept of ‘igbaji chalk’ (lit. ‘to break the chalk’) which found its way into the Igbo idiomatic archive emerged out of the historical context of Western education that was brought by the missionaries. Like every other idiomatic expression or proverb, it transcends its literal meaning, moving from the images of ‘slate-board’ and ‘chalk’ to the idea of basic education. Yet in its reference to education, it appears to be stuck within a materialistic approach to teaching and learning, and as such requires broader interpretation. This paper argues that the concept remains relevant today and its meaning could be broadened by reference to intentionality in education. Furthermore, it should be made to transcend its materialistic barriers through a mutually enriching relationship with a modern approach to learning that is yet to sufficiently find its way in the educational system of Nigeria.