Potential of adult and lifelong education for poverty reduction: systems thinking for systemic change
Poverty reduction today, at least in rhetoric, is a global priority; the essential role of education in poverty reduction is universally assumed. However, the dialectic between the concurrent and contradictory processes of ‘poverty reduction' and ‘poverty induction' is not well understood, and the historically rooted and globally entrenched larger structural processes of ‘poverty induction' are indeed being allowed to advance and grow. Adult education over the lifespan, which relative to other sectors of education has the most important role to play in projects of poverty reduction worldwide, is regretfully the least supported by the policy elite. A new band of activist adult educators is needed, rich in intellect and imbued with commitment, joined in a system of adult lifelong education that is both comprehensive and commensurate with the tasks of constructing projects of poverty reduction in the short run, and of deconstructing ideologies and structures of poverty induction in the long run.
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