Discuss Paulo Freire’s perspective on education.

'Paulo Friere' thought that the current education system is perpetuating the structural inequalities of power. Friere closely observed the education system and the society in Brazil and realized that the education system is helping the dominant groups to keep their authoritative position over the oppressed.

Friere proposed the 'banking concept of education'. The present education system treats students as empty-minded and ignorant, and teachers are considered as depositors of knowledge. Students are taught to listen to teachers and they are trained to be submissive and not question their teachers. As a result, students will not have innovative thoughts, and they will not try to understand the world in their own way. The current education system is used as an instrument to integrate younger generation into the oppressive society, and makes them confirm to it.

Present education system emphasizes on specialization and overly dependent on technology. With the capitalists' need of mass production of commodities, students are not taught critical assessment. Instead they were trained to do repetitive tasks. And this results in adopting to dehumanization in the learning process. Friere observed that Brazil has intense social, economic and political inequalities. He opined that dominant cultures follow some tactics to maintain their dominant position. They instill the feeling of inferiority in other cultures, and hence creates submissive nature in them. Education system is in a way that supports dominant cultures' tactics. Those who are in power use education system as their tool to continue the oppression. Friere calls this as "Culture of silence". In this way, schools perpetuate structural inequalities of power and access to resources.

Also Read :  Banking concept of Education

According to Paulo Friere, the solution lies in changing the education system. The purpose of education is to ignite the students' critical consciousness and awareness. Education must become as an instrument through which freedom is achieved. Hence pedagogy should be humanized. The oppressed needs to be encouraged to transform their position in society. Once the oppressed are taught to understand the cause of power structures in the society, they struggle to change the oppressive structures of the world. That will result in the truly democratic world. Students will be able explore new possibilities to achieve fuller and richer lives individually and collectively.

Education system must be in a way that there will be a dialogue between teachers and students, rather than just depositing knowledge in the students' minds. People teach each other. Instead of teaching to be submissive, teachers should teach the problems in the world to students. Students and teachers together need to work towards the change needed in society.

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