Launching the Education Charter Campaign
The Education Charter Campaign is an idea which we as Equal Education would like to propose, so as to take forward the important work which this Summit is starting, namely, the building of a vision of a just educational future and a national movement to realise that vision.
From the outset, we would like to state that the Education Charter Campaign cannot be owned or driven by one organisation. The success of the Campaign will depend on the degree to which it is taken up by the people in this room and the organisations you represent, and the broader society. For this will ultimately determine the Charter’s legitimacy and political significance.
- What is the Education Charter?
The Education Charter is a document which will spell out our vision for an equal education system: a progressive education system which will afford all children with the same opportunities and which will make our society more equal and just. It will be drawn up through widespread discussion and debate, draw on our history and the best research, and will arise out of the direct experience of ordinary people.
- Why do we need an Education Charter?
The purpose of the Education Charter is, firstly, to raise the consciousness of ordinary people about the challenges facing our education system and to mobilise them around education. Secondly, it is to build consensus on what change we need and how our education system should look like. Thirdly, it is to build the strength of and unity among our organisations, serving as the basis upon which we take forward the struggle for quality and equal education.
- What would the Education Charter look like?
The Education Charter would contain a set of clear demands, relating to key areas of education and training, but focused on school education. It is here that our struggle will primarily be fought. These are some of the areas which we suggest are covered in the Charter:
- Access to education for all
- Access to materials for teaching and learning
- School funding
- School infrastructure
- School safety
- School management and leadership
- Teaching and Learning
- Teacher Development
- The culture of learning and teaching
- The role of learners
- Academic standards
- The school curriculum
- Language in education
- Education and training after school
- The relationship with education officials at all levels
- Early childhood education
- Sport and cultural activities
- Parent and community involvement
- How will the Education Charter be put together?
The process by which the Charter is drawn up will be as important, perhaps even more important, than the document itself. 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. The Summit is the first step in this consultation process. During the summit you are invited to make contributions by:
- Writing on The Education Charter Wall or
- Posting Submissions in The Education Charter Mail Box
By the end of the Summit, you will have built a Framework for the Education Charter.
WAY FORWARD AFTER THE SUMMIT
Taking this Education Charter Campaign forward and into our schools, communities and workplaces will require the participation, ideas and energy of all those who attended the summit. You will need to talk to teachers, parents, learners, community structures, and faith communities to explain the campaign and receive their input into the Charter.