n Education as Change - Lifelong learning revisited : an African educational discourse

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1682-3206
  • E-ISSN: 1947-9417
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In this essay we argue for an African discourse on lifelong learning in South Africa, in so doing exploring its impact on education policy statements, and how it plays itself out in issues related to the nature of learning, equity and redress, and access to higher education. Our exploration is located within the context of the African Renaissance and educational discourse. We prefer to speak of 'resourceful human beings', which we believe is a more humane metaphor, emphasising the social imperative of such a discourse. This essay posits learning as central to both economic and social cohesion, which suggests that lifelong learning cannot simply be driven by a need to secure economic prosperity but has to focus on the 'capacity of citizens to exercise and enforce democratic rights and participate effectively in decision making', as the National Plan for Higher Education (Ministry of Education 2001:7) indicates. We discuss endeavours towards equity and redress in terms of the creation of a more humane society. We contend that particular groups, such as Afrikaners, women, non-traditional learners, students from working-class and rural backgrounds, people with certain disabilities and adults are not equitably represented in the higher education system.

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