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Title: Women defining the horizons : adult education in a rural community in South Africa, 1979-2000
Author: Rajuili, Khanya
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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There is considerable controversy in the Adult Basic Education (ABE) field over its aims, purposes and relationship to social change. ABE has played an important role in South Africa in redressing past educational inequalities. During the period 1979 to 1990 ABE was particularly important for empowerment of women and youth. The acquisition of basic literacy was considered to be one of the vehicles through which 'formerly excluded' adults could attain greater social, political and economic empowerment. Such assumptions also form the foundation for adult education in post-apartheid South Africa. However, the changes in the sector, most notable after 1994, reflect the form of a 'new' Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) that underpins the policy of life-long learning. The latter aims to promote the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes required for social economic transformation. This is relevant to, and important in the current context of debates about the African Renaissance, which is recognised as a renewal of a vision for a changing nation. Current debates over the 'new' ABET situate this study which seeks to present a perspective on women's emancipation. Through critical analyses of issues connected with gender and power over the past twenty years, it draws attention to adult education as being concerned with universalism, collectivism and communal relationships. The thesis attempts to establish parameters for evaluating the ABET policy and its implementation. The research therefore focuses upon ABET policies to delineate their relevance for women in the rural village of Moutse, in Mpumalanga. Through a case study based upon observations and interviews, an analytical foundation is laid for assessing the impact of adult education and training on female adult learners in this rural community. The experience of Moutse learners has shown that ABET has the potential to empower participants, particularly the female population, by encouraging a sense of ownership and control over their lives and over their communities. The conclusion which emerges is that Adult Basic Education was indeed part of a radical social movement that emerged from and supported a socio-political struggle. However, the 'new' ABET is criticised for focusing on outcomes and skills at the expense of knowledge contained within cultural and traditional practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available