Yesterday, on the opening day of the People’s Summit for Quality Education, Equal Education (EE) launched a campaign for the adoption of an Education Charter. The Summit will serve as an opportunity to start deliberations around the desirability and content of such a charter. The proposal was put forward during a presentation by EE at a plenary session. Delegates were then given the opportunity to express support, raise concerns and make suggestions.
The learners, parents, teachers, activists and researchers attending the Summit are already actively involved in addressing the problems in our education system. However, we are not yet working together. The Charter Campaign is a way to take forward the important work which this Summit is starting: articulating a joint vision of a just educational future and a national movement to realise this vision.
In and of itself, a charter will not erect brick structures where mud schools now stand. It will not fix broken windows, establish libraries in our schools or do away with the deep inequalities of our education system. But it will educate communities about their rights and responsibilities. It will galvanize the movement around a joint vision of an education system that is equal, progressive and just. And it will provide impetus and a strategic direction for our efforts and campaigns.
EE’s Brad Brockman said that the process of drawing up the Charter will be as important as the document itself. He explained: “The process of its formulation will determine the extent to which the Charter can claim legitimacy as coming from and representing the aspirations of our people. The drawing up of the Charter must therefore be an inclusive process, which penetrates all levels of our society: learners, parents, teachers and workers from across the country must be drawn into this process. They must discuss and debate and put forward their demands for an equal education system, both as individuals and as organisations.”
EE has drafted a proposed preamble to the Charter. During the Summit, delegates will be able to respond to the proposed preamble and contribute to a framework for the Charter by writing on the Education Charter Wall outside the Summit hall, or posting submissions in an allocated box. There will also be opportunities for discussion during small group sessions running throughout the Summit.
Read Brad Brockman's presentation on the Education Charter here.
Read the proposed preamble here.