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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Adult Learning, where are you? (a tribute to learners and educators) Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by David Kapp, South Africa Sep 17, 2011
Education , Human Rights , Culture   Poetry

  

Adult Learning, where are you? (a tribute to learners and educators)

In the beginning, CNE,
Christian National Education.
Hewers of wood and drawers of water,
Coloured Affairs, Indian Affairs,
Bantu Education,
divide and rule,
separate(d) but equal.

The silence of the 60s,
Sharpeville, Langa, underground,
the banning and dismissal of teachers.

Awaking, to Black Power, in the 70s,
Afros, Brother-man, Sister-hood,
independence struggles
in Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Angola.

Get Up! Stand Up!
Stand Up for your Rights!

People’s Education into the 80s,
for People’s Power,
Popular Education, Alternate Education,
Adult Education, Worker Education

Learn and Teach,
Each One Teach One.
(SACHED, USWE, NLC)

The literacy crusades of China, Cuba,
Nicaragua, Brazil and Paulo Freire,
dialoguing and awareness raising,
inspiring us, taking a people to school,
looking ahead.

Workshops, Talkshops and Seminars,
formulating policy in the Nineties.
(Acronyms and more acronyms)
AB this and ABET that,
NEPI here and NEPI there.

Our first democratic elections in 1994,
Great Euphoria, Great Expectations,
Reconstruction and Development (RDP),
an end to illiteracy?
(an end to formulating policy?)
(an end to acronyms?)

Lifelong learning to the fore?
Education for All?

Adult learning and literacy
for democracy and citizenship?

Where are we now? Are we moving?
(Are we moving forward?)

Which way? How far have we come?
(Who has been left behind?)

Learner, have you learnt?
(What have you learnt?)

Are we, all, reading, together, yet?
Are we, all, celebrating, yet?

Penned the last weekend of August 2004 (timed for our Learning Cape Festival down South here in the little protectorate), inspired by staring hard and long at Bertolt Brecht’s Praise of Learning, which I had photocopied from a long departed Upbeat or Learn and Teach magazine from days gone by.





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David Kapp


Who is this David Kapp

David Kapp is left-handed. He has been so for a while now. Born in Claremont, South Africa, long ago. Did a bit of primary school there. Moved to Belthorn Estate, Crawford in the nasty sixties of apartheid’s Group Areas Act, when his hair was still black. Belthorn, at some point, had an ‘e’ at its rear end.

Mom is an English teacher-activist, now retired; and is responsible for my book-wormish little habit of correcting folks’ grammar. Dad is a socialist trade unionist, now retired; and is probably responsible for my questioning everything questionable on this particular planet. My height – upwards, not sideways like certain of our politrickians – is due to my plumber granddad, my mom’s dad, with whom I share a birth date (of long ago!). My mom’s mom was English, in her ways.

School consisted of peanut butter sandwiches and football and stuff, at Heatherdale Primary (1967), Belthorn Primary (1968-1970), Athlone High (1971-1973) and Oaklands High (1974-1975) – I suddenly forget the school I attended in Claremont. Can I get amnesty for this? Drifted from Athlone High to Oaklands ‘cos he could not imagine doing Woodwork and / or Latin (there or anywhere) until matriculation. Nothing personal, you gather.

Worked as a computer operator, did lots of nightshift and plotting against the apartheid state.

Studied Adult Education at the Centre for Adult and Continuing Education (CACE), University of the Western Cape (UWC), 1989-1991, and worked at the Centre for about 7 years. Hair started changing colour. Hair also started getting bigger.

Later worked at a gender-training unit, GETNET, just over Athlone bridge, on the Cape Flats; the career centre CRIC in Kewtown, Cape Flats, and at a youth development NGO called RAG (Resource Action Group), all as a computer literacy trainer and a wannabee alternative lifeskills hack. Hair still big.

Realized – light-bulb style – in the main, whilst staying out yonder in the religiously and politically conservative, non-English territory of Beverley Park, First River (1989-2009) out in the Northern Suburbs, that “reading is the key”. Helped youngsters a bit out there with their reading, and was a “resource” and “safe space” for them to do their homework / school projects. Got myself involved as a Reading Helper / Volunteer, in 2008 (based at Athlone's Alicedale Primary School) with the NGO Help2Read.

Started writing in non-rhyming short sentences at a GETNET Gender Conference in December 2003 or thereabouts, with the naughty theories of Italian communist Antonio Gramsci humming in his ears courtesy of one comrade Ebrahim Rassool (who did an address around and about “seizing the moment”, Gramsci-style).

Thanks to this wondrous thing called the internet, I have continued to irritate and bore people here and elsewhere to this day, in a non-rhyming sort-of way.
Comments


Adult Learning Where are you
June van der Nat | Dec 10th, 2011
David hope someone hears your question. Our org has been trying to get an Abet centre going for 2 years now in the Roodepoort CBD but still not winning.

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