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Finally, education might contribute politically by developing the values and behaviours required for a suitable political culture that will help to sustain a democratic political system (Harber & Davies, 1997).

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An integrated approach to education and training was key to human resource development as the old academic/applied or 'head and hand' distinctions were seen as having helped to reproduce occupational and class distinctions.

There was a need for a form of education that provided the skills and predispositions for continual learning, moving flexibly between occupations and taking responsibility for personal performance as a contribution towards developing a successful economy (Department of Education, 1995).

The second, less heard, discourse, is that of education as reproduction.

While seemingly opening up opportunity for all and contributing to the development of an economic and social system based on open competition, achievement and merit in fact the education system merely serves to reproduce things as they are.

It should be a goal of education and training policy to enable a democratic, free, equal, just and peaceful society to take root and prosper in our land, on the basis that all South Africans without exception share the same inalienable rights, equal citizenship and common destiny, and that all forms of bias (especially racial, ethnic and gender) are dehumanising (Department of Education, 1995a:22).

That this new philosophy based on democracy and human rights would mean changing all aspects of the education system was also recognised.

This has unavoidable implications for curricula, textbooks, other educational materials and media programmes, teaching methods, teacher education, professional supervision and management culture (Department of Education, 1995a:43).

Subsequently, education policy was changed to introduce a curriculum aimed at encouraging more active and participant classrooms and at creating more independent and critical thinkers and introducing new governance structures in which parents, teachers and learners are involved in more democratic forms of decision-making and school organisation (Harber, 2001; Carter, Harber & Serf 2003)."For many, education cannot compensate for much deeper economic and social inequalities - it is not ladder out of poverty, it simply confirms one's status in life" (Nelson Mandela Foundation, 202).

Education is seen as contributing to the public good, and therefore as deserving of the allocation of public investment, and in need of public control" (Phillips & Schweisfurth, 20).

Though they go on to question the widespread assumption that education is automatically a weapon against poverty, there is much truth in this statement that there is an over-emphasis on the positive role of education in relation to development.

Based on the above quote, an effective school in South Africa is one that operates democratically in order to promote democracy in the wider society (Mncube, 2005).

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