Dialogues and actions for an education that guarantees rights in Latin America
What education do we need for the world we want? The Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education is seeking ways to answer this question.
October 18, 2018 by Fabíola Munhoz, Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE)
4 minutes read
Jaqueira Village. Porto Seguro, Bahia, Brazil (2008). An indigenous teacher of the Pataxó ethnic group teaches students in their native language Patxôhã. Credit: CLADE
Jaqueira Village. Porto Seguro, Bahia, Brazil (2008). An indigenous teacher of the Pataxó ethnic group teaches students in their native language Patxôhã.
Credit: Fernando Martinho

What education do we need for the world we want? The Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE), along with other civil society organizations, are seeking ways to answer this question, through dialogue and collective reflection on the meanings of education envisioned for the positive transformation of our realities and societies.

In 2012, in an education working group formed by civil society organizations to advocate for the human right to education within the framework of the Rio + 20 Summit debates, CLADE proposed an education that was capable of stimulating people to think about the political, environmental, economic and social problems of the global order in which we live. These reflections aimed to propose a different economic, cultural, and social order to overcome inequalities and discrimination, and for dignity and justice, based on the transformative potential of social subjects and organized groups of civil society [read here the position paper that we published back then].

Identifying challenges in education systems

Following this debate, from November 11 -14, 2016, we held the IX Regional Assembly of CLADE in Mexico City, themed "Emancipatory education that guarantees rights: Challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean." 80 people from more than 16 countries, including specialists and representatives of national coalitions, regional networks and international organizations members of CLADE prompted debates on the situation of democracy and human rights in the region, as well as on the challenges and opportunities for the realization of an emancipatory education that guarantees  rights.

Among the challenges faced, the following stood out:

  • the rise of conservative groups within the governments of different countries in the region,
  • the homogenization and instrumentalization of educational systems,
  • the privatization of education,
  • the criminalization and repression of social protest,
  • the different forms of discrimination and violence in schools,
  • the undermining of the debate on gender in schools,
  • the reduction of resources for education and other social rights,
  • the application of international and national standardized tests to measure educational quality, generating segregation, competition and inequality in education systems.
Educar para la libertad

Education to strengthen civic engagement and reduce inequalities

On the other hand, as a result of the meeting discussions, the role of an emancipatory education that guarantees rights was raised to ensure the strengthening of critical thinking, capable of questioning and reflecting on the context, and pointing out ways to strengthen our democracies and overcome the inequalities and structural discriminations that mark our societies [click here to find out more].

Deepening this dialogue and reflections is a pending task that is fundamental to reach levels of social, economic, political and environmental justice in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Thus, CLADE launched the regional mobilization titled "Education for freedom: Dialogues and action for an emancipatory education" on October 15, 2018 to invite citizens to discuss and reflect on the education we need for the world we want. The initiative is promoted within the context of the X Regional Assembly of CLADE, which takes place from October 22-26 in Bogotá, Colombia, themed "For an emancipatory education that guarantees rights".

Through this campaign, CLADE wants to mobilize the population of Latin America and the Caribbean to advocate for an education capable of transforming the present and future of children, adolescents, young people, and adults, based on reflection, dialogue and critical thinking, and on the ability to question, discern, imagine and act for other possible worlds.

Creating spaces for interaction on the education we want

Emancipation starts from dialogue as an ethical and political principle. It is based on dialogue that education should be oriented to the promotion and realization of the human rights objectives; the construction of peace and active, critical and participatory citizens; the strengthening of our democracies; and overcoming of inequalities and discrimination. The consolidation of public education systems that ensure free, universal access for all, and that are guaranteeing rights, is a pending and urgent task for countries within Latin America and the Caribbean.

We emphasize that education should contribute to people being connected to their time and space, knowing their territory, context, history, and cultural diversity. To do so, the spaces and processes of informal, non-formal and formal education must be closely related, promoting cultures and knowledge, research, teaching and extension, and contributing to the transformation of communities and societies.

Through this regional mobilization, CLADE wants to stimulate and promote spaces for dialogue, creative workshops and other activities to address what is and how to promote an emancipatory education.

Actions will take place in different countries, involving CLADE members, teachers and teachers' unions, student and youth movements and organizations, researchers, public authorities, educational communities, civil society organizations, etc. All are invited to join these dialogues and actions for an emancipatory education!

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