The Centre

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Mission Statement

The Centre’s work is anchored in the ideals of social, political and economic democracy; racial, class, gender and language equity; diversity in knowledge creation, discovery and dissemination. It defends education and human rights and promotes transformative teaching and learning.

The work of the Centre focuses on:

  • The history, sociology and development of South African education
  • Globalization and educational change in Southern African and International Education
  • National, African, and international policy studies in education
  • Pedagogies in classrooms, lecture rooms and community halls
  • Public advocacy, community participation, and social relevance

Centre, History and Mission

The Centre for Education Rights and Transformation (CERT) was formally launched on 15 October 2009. Speakers at the launch included the late educationist and ex-Robben Island political prisoner Professor Neville Alexander, the special advisor to the Higher Education Minister, Mr John Pampallis and the Dean of the Education Faculty, Professor Sarah Gravett as well as members of civil society.

A message from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education at that time, 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.


Anchored in the ideals of social justice, CERT’s Vision and Mission speaks to:

  • Combining rigorous academic research and scholarship with social action
  • Creating synergy between research, teaching and community engagement
  • Making a positive contribution to knowledge creation and social transformation


CERT’s objectives are to:

  • Promote education and human rights in all educational institutions and people’s organisations
  • Develop research capacity in organisations and at the post-graduate level at universities
  • Implement education projects and programmes. Publicise research findings in the popular media, policy forums, and at conferences
  • Publish in scholarly and other journals that promote goals similar to those of the Centre
  • Foster linkages and research production with national, continental and global academics and with researchers based in parastatal and non- governmental organisations, and
  • Build strong ties in teaching and research with colleagues in the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg by conducting curriculum innovations, research programmes, seminars, and producing joint publications.