This year the third session of the “Popular Education University” was inaugurated in Tunisia, bringing together participants from the Maghreb and Arab regions under the motto “For a liberating education against oppression and for freedom”.
This educational meeting, which is scheduled to last until August 27, is supervised by the “ATAC Morocco Association”, the “Tunisian Observatory of Economy” and the “Association for the Media Workshop for Economic and Social Rights in Tunisia ”, and aims to “develop social and political awareness on issues related to justice.” Social, economic, environmental, neo-colonial subordination and popular sovereignty at the regional level, to facilitate exchange and help build networks, and achieve more effective campaigns for real and significant change at the local and regional levels”.
According to its framework document, the project of the “University of Popular Education” arises from the fact that “there is a real need among popular organizations and social movements for education and political training, in addition to the strategic and critical thinking of its young members, skills that They are critical.” for effective campaigns, and advocacy for real change and liberation and the search for sustainable alternatives.”
The university believes that “identifying the problems we face, correctly analyzing our social reality and reaching a correct diagnosis of our difficult situations are very important issues”, so “it is necessary to provide training and political education on these issues”.
The framework document continues: “This is what the University of Popular Education seeks to create the necessary knowledge for change, raise awareness and strengthen lasting relationships between youth and the various social movements and organizations in the Maghreb, and contribute to the establishment of networks that develop plans of action and promotion, and the development of alternatives to capitalism”.
In addition to their local activities in each country, the supervisory organizations of the “University of Popular Education” work so that their work has a regional dimension; “Convinced of the interdependence of the destinies of the peoples of the region and of the need to cross the paths of their liberation.”
The organizations that supervise this North African meeting believe in “the importance of popular education as a tool that contributes to the liberation of the oppressed themselves”, drawing inspiration from “pioneering experiences of struggle, among which the theorized and applied by the educator and wrestler Paulo Freire in Brazil.”
The previous session, in the year 2021, focused on the issues of the spread of epidemics, climate and environmental crises, food sovereignty and neo-colonialism, with the aim of advancing in the construction and expansion of popular education tools, and “relying on the emancipation”. learning methods instead of a compulsive education based on the indoctrination of prefabricated knowledge and vertically reproducing the same relationships of domination and oppression.”
The course also prepared pedagogical videos “against normalization with the Zionist entity”, “Paolo Freire’s pedagogy of the oppressed” and “the tools of neo-colonialism (debt and free trade) in the region”.
The current session of the “University of the People” focuses on “accompanying the pioneers of the struggle, and educating them in their fields of intervention with an anti-capitalist perspective, working with young people from Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine and Lebanon.
The third session raises discussions on “the current context characterized by the implications of the Corona pandemic and the war in Ukraine, especially issues of debt, women’s liberation, food sovereignty, climate and energy justice, organizing experiences in struggles and issues of alternatives to capitalism and tyranny in the region”.