23 SES 13 B, Global and Comparative Perspectives on Adult Learning, Literacy and Numeracy Strategies
Adult education and training (AET) as an educational system has been created to facilitate a second educational beginning for adults who have had no or inadequate access to formal education and training (Adult Basic Education and Training Act, no.52 of 2000)). The Education Department has, through its Adult Education and Training (AET) Directorate, undertaken to build up an AET system and provision based upon principles and practices of equity, redress, development, reconstruction, and access (Baatjes, 2003; Aitchinson, 2003 An interesting phenomenon in AET in the last two decades is the growth in the number of formally schooled late adolescent learners, who enrol with the purpose of completing their high school education. These are young adults that the formal school system has refused re-entry to, due to teenage pregnancy, disciplinary problems, and criminal transgressions. This presentation draws from my research on educational access for socially vulnerable, semi-literate adults. Using narrative inquiry, I delve into the educational journeys of three adults who, as adolescents dropped out of the formal school system, but are continuing their education through AET. I explore AET as a space where disenfranchised adult learners build as well as accumulate the cultural and social capital to participate in society as active citizens. My analysis of these three vulnerable second chance learners’ educational pathways is an effort to bring into critical focus the ways in which the energies within AET contexts and their personal worlds come together to advance their quest to gain an education.
Aitchinson JJW. 2003. Struggle and compromise: a history of Adult Basic Education from 1960 to 2001. Journal of Education. 29 (pp. 123-178). Baatjes I. 2003.The new knowledge-rich society: perpetuating marginalisation and exclusion. Journal of Education, 29 (pp. 179-204). Republic of South Africa. Department of Education. 2000. Adult Basic Education and Training Act, (Act 52 of 2000). Pretoria: Government Publishers.
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