Challenging the development paradigm – by Robbie Guevara

“To set up National Councils of Adult Education representing adult education institutions and organizations to discuss common problems and to act as a pressure group representing the general interests of adult education.” This was how one of the tasks of ASPBAE was described in the minutes of the Founding Meeting on 30th January 1964 in Sydney.

It is not difficult to see how the mission to act as a pressure group or advocacy group continues to be similar to what we do today. While we are an organization that has been transformed from a primarily university-based membership to a civil society-based organization, from a focus on adult education practice, to balancing its commitment to advocacy.

The commitment to transformation continues and we have heard today ideas about how we will need to continue to challenge the current neo-liberal development paradigm that links education merely to GDP; expand the conversation beyond our so-called natural partners; revisit the idea of anchoring institutions to support the growing work needed; and perhaps explore the educated diaspora from our region as a resource.

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