The Centre was formally launched on October 15th 2009 at the Bunting Road Campus, University of Johannesburg. Keynote speakers included ex-Robben Island prisoner and veteran educationist, Dr Neville Alexander from PRAESA, Professor Sarah Gravett, the Dean of Education at the University of Johannesburg, John Pampallis from the Higher Education Ministry and members of civil society involved in education.
A message from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Dr Vernon Munoz, was conveyed to the attendees. He expressed the view, in part, that:
The creation of this Centre … reflects a pressing need to rethink deeply and critically the true aims of a quality education, educational processes and learning environments at all levels. It offers promise for stimulating and supporting international, regional and domestic initiatives towards a universal culture of human rights, and more specifically, of human rights within education. It offers, in short, real promise of social transformation. I greatly welcome this initiative and look forward to cooperating with the Centre and contributing to its future work.
All members of the Centre staff have an abiding interest in linking academic scholarship with societal change and public participation. The staff will also be complemented from time to time by interns-mostly doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows-visiting professors and community field workers/researchers/organic intellectuals. The Centre’s Board includes: Advocate Yasmin Sooka, director of the Foundation for Human Rights; Ms Crystal Dicks, national education secretary of COSATU; Enver Motala, coordinator of the Education Policy Consortium; Prof Loyiso Jito from the University of Pretoria and Prof Maropeng Modiba from UJ.
Ms Eugenia Sekgobela
Tel: +27 11 559 1148