Infusion of Democracy and Human Rights in the Education Curriculum: From Policy to Practice - Facing Future Challenges
EISA Conference 2004

The Rosebank Hotel, Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg

About the Conference, its aim and its participants

The aim of the conference was to raise debate around the following issues:

  • What are the issues facing Southern Africa today?
  • To what extent can they be addressed through the infusion of Human Rights, Democracy and Citizenship education into the school curriculum?

This conference brought together regional role-players from institutions, structures and organisations, government departments, and statutory bodies to share ideas, experiences and progress on these issues.

Conference rationale

The last decade has been a significant time of challenge and change for countries in the SADC region. Several countries have begun journeys of transformation and moved away from dictatorship, oppressive regimes and violent conflict to participatory democracy, regular free and fair elections and human rights.

Many of these changes are driven from the top via policies and do not necessarily translate directly or easily into meaningful change in real life experience of citizens, be it social, economical or even political.

For many of these countries, education is seen to be on way of reshaping society and developing the skills, values, attitudes and knowledge that contribute to the consolidation and sustainability of freedom, equality and justice. On a number of levels, human rights activists would support any initiative to engage with Human Rights at an institutional level.

How should societies in transition engage with Human Rights at an institutional level? What are the roles of the State, the Department of Education and Civil Society?