Wednesday, August 01, 2012

In memoriam

Another day in the death of liberal adult education. Hull's Centre for Lifelong Learning, where I spent nearly fourteen years of my working life, formally closed yesterday. It isn't alone. The slow eradication of a service has been almost silent. The press are not really interested, nor do they understand it. Only the millions for whom adult education was both an opportunity and a lifeline mourn.

Here is a story from the other side of the world.
He is one of South Africa's best loved musicians, has toured internationally and made an album that sold half a million copies. But for Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse there was always something missing: an education.
Forty-four years after he dropped out of school, Mabuse has gone back to the classroom and passed the exams he missed.
Hotstix comments:
"The best empowerment you can give to people is to give them an education. Those who rule over the ignorant will rule in perpetuity."
Draw your own conclusions. I just feel sad.


Anonymous said...

I know many will have a similar tale to tell, but they need recording. They did the same to the Extra-Mural Department at Lancaster, which, through its Open College of the North West, became acknowledged nationally as one of the most successful ways of extending the undergraduate cohort beyond the traditional one of comfortably off young adults. It suffered the death of a thousands cuts.

The other day I was re-reading an old copy of Lancaster's independent magazine which contained a press release announcing "consultation" on the Department's future. You know you've had it when you hear that word.

The Plump said...

You should never read the words 'consultation' or 'review' without feeling terror.

Anonymous said...

That is sad! You taught a great course at Hull I attended a few years back. It offered such a great variety of courses outside of the University norm.

The Plump said...

Thanks anonymous. Outside the norm would be a good summary of most of the things I taught!