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The Education Forum

Neo-liberal Agenda for schools

Jean Walker

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I have recently returned from our national union conference, where the keynote speakers were Bob Petersen, an American union activist and teacher, Mary Compton, President of NUT, Jorge Lavez, President of teachers union of Chile, Thulas Nxesi, president of teachers union of South Africa, and Debbie Te Whaiti, president of teachers union of New Zealand.

They all had one message - the neo-liberal invasion of education is worldwide and must be stopped.

Bob Petersen has a website: www.rethinkingschools.org which is worth a look. His description of schooling in the US under the Bush administration was frightening, as was Mary Compton's quote from Blair which went something like: Education used to be a benefit for everyone, now it's an economic necessity.

The commercialisation/privatisation of schools whereby education is a commodity to be purchased by those who can afford it and where only the rich get "quality", and where knowledge is judged by testing and certifying, is in MHO the beginning of the end of democracy.

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