n Latin American Report - Non-formal adult and youth education in Latin America : lessons for South Africa

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-6060



Latin America is a region in the Southern Hemisphere consisting of 21 developing countries. Like South Africa, the countries in this region suffered from colonialism, racism, discrimination, dictatorship and all forms of injustices for several hundreds of years. This historical reality has left Latin American countries with a socio-economic and political legacy which includes illiteracy, lack of skills for employment, poverty, a high crime rate, environmental neglect and destruction. The countries in Latin America use non-formal adult and youth education programmes, dubbed Popular Education, to address the socio-economic and political problems mentioned above and to enhance social cohesion. Working through the philosophy of popular education in collaboration with civic, political and religious organisations, adults and youths, especially the rural poor, made up of illiterate women, men, the unemployed and the landless indigene are taught various socio-economic skills for job creation; rights and responsibilities of living with people from diverse backgrounds in a multicultural environment. This article discusses some of the non-formal education programmes and strategies employed in the region and argues that with a similar history and legacy South Africa can learn a lot from the countries of Latin America. Through adult and youth nonformal education South Africa can teach its rural poor, especially unemployed women and youths civic responsibilities, rights, conflict resolution, tolerance and love (), patriotism and job creation to ensure sustainable community development.

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