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education and liberation

 

So what form of education is developmental?

 

People that get to higher educational institutions are certainly very privileged, much of their education is paid for. At present though, their skills are not used in the interest of most of the people, but in fact against them. For education, to be developmental, it would be necessary for students and teachers to discuss the true nature of exploitation in their society. The real reasons that people are poor and are getting poorer and how to change society. This kind of discussion and discovery, would undoubtedly be regarded as, subversive in most Asian educational institutions, but this is the kind of education, which is developmental. But the university can only provide some of the skills necessary to work for the mass of the population. Students must learn from the people how they can best facilitate process of liberation. This does not mean that everything that people say or do is correct, for we have all been by various means manipulated by the dominant ideology. The laboring people do though hold the general truth about the nature of their oppression in particular, even though they possibly may not know what to do about it.

Most Asian Third World countries will probably remain the way they are for many years, so what role should the university in particular play now in society and who now should and university serve? The governments or many Third World Asian countries should not control the university. Educational institutions should be independent of the wishes of government and big business. The university should always be an institution where academic freedom, is promoted so that there is free expression of ideas without suppression. Cooperation and mutual respect should be promoted between students and teachers and, in general, education should be relevant to the social problems of society.

Brian Taylor, New Zealnd

 

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In today's world, especially the third world countries, education has been used as an effective instrument to preserve and perpetuate the unjust social structures of the ruling classes. It helps preserve and perpetuate the unjust social structures by alienating the educated from the common people. In many countries we are able to see a wide gap in the thinking, attitudes and also in the cultural way of life, between the 'educated' elites and the 'uneducated'. One of the main reasons for the alienation-breed educational system in the third world countries can be related and explained in the light of the colonial heritage. It is very evident in the case of Indian educational system, at least.

This type of colonial education system, in its changed form, has been preserved intact even after the "1947 independence" to serve the interests of the new ruling classes. Today's Indian educational system is Indian in form but not in content. Its educational institutions, though controlled by the native Indians, serve the interests of the super power and those of the local collaborators of the super power.

After experiencing the type of irrelevant education system, some frustrated intellectuals began to talk about changing the educational system to serve the majority of the masses. Some of them wrongly believe that a change in the educational system will bring about a social change in the basic structure of Indian society. So they strongly advocated a change in the Indian education system as a precondition for social change. While doing so, they failed to understand its objective socio-economic basis, it is not the educational system that determines the social structure but the fact is vice-versa. So our thrust in the strategy of social change should be changing the economic basis and not in changing the educational system.

Raja Kumar, India

 

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To reach the masses, to make them aware of and accept these ideas, certain methods are employed. The act of reaching the people, of making them aware of and accept these ideas, this act of forming the masses into the structure's ideals is education.

There has been and will still be various systems or structures, as many as there are philosophers, societies or nations, because of differences and variations in geopolitical conditions and other factors whatever they are, there is only one way to spread and make them acceptable by education.

Historical factors have made the system now existing in the USA and other societies known as the West differ from the one acknowledged and accepted by socialist societies. Both Western as well as socialist nations, convinced of the effectiveness of their ideas and systems, try to impose them on other nations, other societies or even on one another.

On the other hand, many nations known as the Third World, many of whom have been uprooted from their ancient systems by their former colonial masters, are adrift between those two super powers or are trying reach back into their past for guidance. Confusion and frustrations result as a consequence.

Education is and should be a reflection of the socio-economic system currently existing and accepted by a society or nation, because this system embodies the hopes and expectations of the society. Educational systems should be so formulated in such a way as to support, promote and develop ways to achieve these hopes and expectations. Otherwise, it will be meaningless and endless.

John Manginte, Indonesia