Social Justice in African Education in the Age of Globalization

Authored by: Leon Tikly , Hillary Dachi

Handbook of Social Justice in Education

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  June  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805859270
eBook ISBN: 9780203887745
Adobe ISBN: 9781135596149


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The aim of this chapter is to consider the possibilities and limitations for realizing social justice goals in African education in the global era. It will do this through reviewing the social justice implications of a range of initiatives that have emerged at the regional level. We have focused on sub-Saharan Africa because as a region it is most at risk of being left behind by the globalization process (World Bank, 2006; Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC], 2006). The decision to focus on the regional level is because of the increasing significance that is attached to this level by African governments, donors and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) (see Robertson et al., 2007). This is exemplified by the launch of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD)1 and the more recent Commission for Africa (CFA).2 There has also been a proliferation of other regional initiatives, all of which have implications for social justice and education.3 The chapter will start by setting out a theoretical framework for understanding social justice and a broad overview of the wider context of social justice and education in sub-Saharan Africa. The chapter will then focus on five inter-related themes that together exemplify the possibilities and limitations for realising social justice goals on the continent.

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