09 August 2010

False Generosity

Currently reading the Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire, a book that is often mentioned by the Activist Teacher, which says,

"Any attempt to 'soften' the power of the oppressor in deferrence to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifests itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this. In order to have the continued opportunity to express their "generosity", the oppressors must perpetuate injustice as well. An unjust social order is the fount of this 'generosity', which is nourished by death, despair and poverty."

What about free education: is this a form of false generosity?

Obviously it is.

Why is your (or your child's) education more important than someone else's "death, despair and poverty"?

This leads me to recollect the work of James Tooley. Read and (literally) weep. He studies the provision of private education in poverty stricken areas around the world.

I heard his name mentioned about ten years ago when someone was describing the work of the Awdal Roads Company where they said, in passing, that they had met James Tooley in Somalia.

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