oa Journal of Education - Isicathamiya saseStoffelton: Reflections on an education for democracy project

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-479X



For many rural, impoverished South Africans who continue to live in conditions of political and economic oppression, ten years of democracy have not reduced their marginalisation. Started in 1999, the Human Rights, Development and Democracy project is a co-operative initiative between an NGO offering adult basic education (ABE) in rural centres in KwaZulu-Natal, and the Centre for Adult Education, of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The project aims to serve participants in rural areas, who are undereducated, mostly unemployed, and whose participation in democratic procedures is extremely limited. Informed by, among others, Mezirow�s transformational theory, the project combines adult basic education with education for democracy and income generation projects, with a view to enable people to reach new perceptions of their lives and South African society. The article shows how participants moved from early expectations, and how different paces and rhythms of different participants had to be accommodated within the project paradigms.

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