New Times for Education: Issues of Development & Fairness

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New times for education Issues of development & Fairness RUBEN DE FREITAS CABRAL SYMPOSIUM – RICCI INSTITUTE 27 NOVEMBER 2009 MACAU The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind. The implication of these words from E. B. White, a famous American writer and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, refers to something that happens to the vast majority of people in the developed and in large segments of the developing worlds, which is schooling. Hardly anybody denies the importance of schooling. At the very least, places must exist where parents can leave their children, especially when both have to go to work for the better part of the day. The relevance, however, of what happens…show more content…
The school has become one most important apparatus of the State, with budgets that surpass many times those of other Ministries, including Defense. This scenario, therefore, resembles that of a gargantuan ship marooned in the middle of the Sahara. Whatever happened is past, and there is no discernable future. We tend to forget that whatever tools students need are not necessarily the ones that we received. For if we were trained for yesterday, students, on the other hand, will live and work twenty and thirty years from now, in a world whose contours we can hardly fathom. Schooling is trapped in the instruction mode, or in other words, indoctrination, far from the aspired horizon of education, as a communal, complex and liberating phenomenon. Reform movements cannot redeem the school from its shortcomings: they are merely more of the same, albeit in a different form; some sort of patchwork jobs. The vast majority of reformist prescriptions is often reduced to rearranging parts of the curricula and, sometimes, in a glorious attempt at flights of imagination, to twiddling with the organizational structure of the school. We seem to forget that the curriculum is just a changing narrative, just like clay before it becomes a sculpture. It should not be an end in itself. But it is. In all fairness, the school is the victim of its enormous success. Massified schooling produced millions of readers, if not necessarily creative thinkers. Nonetheless, they allowed China
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