Tag Archives: Education

Latin American Progressive Students on Education

The 18th Congress of Latin American and Caribbean Students is being held in Caracas, Venezuela which will deliberate on struggles against neoliberal education. 

The XVIII Latin American and Caribbean Student Congress (CLAE) is being held in Venezuela’s capital city Caracas from Monday to May 25. The congress will see the participation of 4,000 young people.

The National Experimental University of Security is serving as the venue for the event where delegates from almost 38 international universities will come together to analyze issues of struggle for free, emancipatory, and anti-imperialist education.

Mirthia Brossad, the President of the Continental Latin American and Caribbean Student Organization (OCLAE), told Prensa Latina that choosing Venezuela as the host country was a political decision.

“We will defend the importance of the continental unity of the left, in the face of direct attacks by the government of the United States and its geostrategic allies,” Brossad said.

The conference and participation of the progressive youth demonstrate the intention and responsibility of preserving the revolutionary process.

Brossad also urged the international community to learn about the true situation in Venezuela and not be fooled by manipulation and aggressive campaigns by the U.S. which aim to overthrow the democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro and support opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido who illegally proclaimed himself as the “interim president” of the country.

In the last Congress, which was held in Cuba, people agreed on confronting neoliberal policies in the continent’s educational system.

Brossard also said that as part of the CLAE sessions attendees will exchange the reality of young people who are currently fighting against neoliberal states, such as in Brazil, which are attacking the right to education.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/4000-Progressive-Students-Arrive-in-Venezuela-for-Congress-for-Free-Education-20190520-0005.html

Teen Advocate for Girls’ Education in Africa

“At just 15 years old, Zuriel Oduwole has met no fewer than 24 presidents and prime ministers as she carries out her mission to advocate for girls’ education in Africa. When talking to African leaders, the Los Angeles teenager stresses the need for “making policies so that girls are able to go to school until at least the age of 18 so they don’t get married when they are 12 or 13…”

https://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/09/20/unstoppable-american-teen-is-promoting-girls-education-in-africa/

Barriers to Girls’ Education in Nigeria

NIGERIA: Why I Was Always Late to School

By  JANEKALU | 05 October, 2016

Jane Kalu helps girls in rural Nigeria go to school without the financial burdens she shouldered as a young girl.

I know from experience that the true costs of getting an education go beyond school fees.

 

I was born into a polygamous family in Abia State, Nigeria. Growing up as a young girl came with challenges, especially when it came to my education.

 

My dad recognized the huge responsibility of having a large family of 19 children and four wives. He set out to pay our school fees but compelled his wives to handle all of the other responsibilities that come with feeding and schooling children.

My mum was my dad’s fourth wife and also his last wife. She didn’t mind the other wives and she was determined to make her home a safe haven for all of her five children (3 girls and 2 boys). But living in this family left her with no other choice than to hustle more in her farming and local soap production business to feed us, clothe us, and buy the books necessary for our academic pursuits.

It was difficult for her to fulfill these enormous responsibilities alone, especially considering her lack of formal education. As my mother’s oldest child, I looked for means to help her.

I would wake up as early as 5am to hawk corn pap (a Nigerian breakfast delicacy) before school. After this tedious responsibility, it was not easy to arrive at school on time.

I can vividly recount the flogging and other punishments from my teachers for coming to school late. When I would explain to my teachers the reasons for constantly being late, it would only attract mockery from my fellow students.

Meanwhile, my father was basking in the euphoria of having paid my school fees and was not bothered by any other issues concerning school. At one point I was on the verge of dropping out of school. But my mother was undaunted. She was determined to see her children through school. She never allowed any of us to drop out. She saw greatness in us and was willing to do every reasonable thing humanly possible to allow us to get an advanced education.

In spite of the financial difficulties—and in spite of the ridicule from fellow students who only saw my immediate poverty—I managed, by the grace of God, to finish my secondary education. My mum’s doggedness was a pushing force in my life. And with financial and moral support from my half-sister, I was able to secure admission into a polytechnic.

In Nigeria, education at a polytechnic is associated with people from poor homes. It involves only two years, compared to the four years needed for a university education. While students from better homes went on to study another two years to achieve a Higher National Diploma, I was compelled to accept a job offer as a cashier in a maritime company at the end of my two years.

Today, I have overcome the challenges of my upbringing. My experiences as a young girl from a poor home in a rural community in Nigeria inspired me to start an organization (the Grassroots Women and Girls Empowerment and Gender Equity Initiative) to encourage young girls from poor homes to cope with the challenges they face.

The shame and ridicule for always coming to school late were a serious emotional burden on me. Although primary education is now free in Nigeria, parents still engage young girls in hawking wares to buy books and other educational materials. I took a stand to ensure that young girls will not be forced into child labor to help their parents finance their education.

I know from experience that the true costs of getting an education go beyond school fees. We are partnering with rich families in the urban centers to source used textbooks and educational materials to distribute to indigent students in rural schools. We also organize seminars and workshops that empower young girls in rural homes.

My vision is to ensure that girls in rural communities in Nigeria have the chance to become the changemakers they are born to be. https://www.worldpulse.com/en/voices-rising/stories/nigeria-why-i-was-always-late-school?utm_source=World+Pulse&utm_campaign=3b444365d4-Story_Awards–Community–10-07-2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2ba7a2ad38-3b444365d4-415500373

Alternative Education Systems

Eric Schneider, German editor of Youth-Leader magazine, recommends models that do a better job of education than many of us experienced, links below, as well as Finland’s education system. He also recommends life skills classes and student clubs centered on student interests. He faults the majority of Germany’s schools for being mediocre.