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  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU rejects a neo-liberal education system

5 July 2012

COSATU Education and Skills Conference has come to an end today, 5 July 2012, at Benoni Lakes Hotel, with sound education and skills outcomes realized.

Delegates unanimously argued that ‘the current models for education and training are closely linked to a neoliberal macro-economic policy and tend to produce the dominant patterns of capitalist social relations’.

And further delegates deliberated on the importance of reasserting a ‘People’s Education for Peoples Power’, as an essential prerequisite, to help lead us to a new, equitable society.

Delegates in various commissions were up to speed with the spill-overs of the legacy of Apartheid and the dominant capitalist ideology in favour of more egalitarian education, training and skills provision and recommended to strengthen transformation and assert the needs of society rather than private interests.

All speakers invited has reiterated a call for political and decisiveness to tackle matters related, to building priorities in education and training at all levels, including early childhood development (ECD), adult basic education and training (ABET), recognition of prior learning (RPL), the schooling system, higher education, and workers education.

COSATU Affiliates and progressive partners argued that RPL and ABET are fundamental concepts in addressing illiteracy levels in the country which are shaming to comprehend.

All delegates expressed a view that ‘we need to expressly link the kind of society we want and the education we need to get there’.

In line with the Conference the delegates recommended that ‘worker education is about educating for change, for socialism, and we must not be defensive about this noble aim’.

The conference was attended by allies from Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe and many Labour Service organizations and Education non-governmental organizations such as Ditsela and Equal Education.

A Declaration is expected to be adopted today before COSATU President closes the conference.

Mampane Norman, COSATU Communications Officer