As it is usual in educative events organized by Cuba, Frei Betto shares his time in one of the working sessions of the 9th International Congress of Higher Education Universidad 2014.
In the first activity of the event which will last until February 14, the outstanding Brazilian theologian participates together with other foreign and national intellectuals in Humanism and Education panel called by the Network in Defense of Humanity, which was coordinated by Fernando Rojas, deputy minister of Culture.
With an audience eager to listen to his wise and moving words, the also writer, journalist, anthropologist and philosopher stressed that the higher education by time, as part of a system of classes and of the capitalist system, changed into a kind of training enterprise of qualified wage labor force for the market. The result is the “progressive marketing of the higher education knowledge.”
He stressed that in all the addresses highlights the fact that the “worst catastrophes in the history of humanity, like the bomb launched in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were carried out by men and women with a post graduated course or a doctorate, people who knew how drink the best wines, who spoke in many languages, that is, sons and daughters of the higher education.”
In his brief and convincing words, the Brazilian intellectual made a call to represent the real meaning of the university and why it is not called pluri-university.
“Higher education,” he said “should be a democratic space of a group of knowledge that are based on the practice and not only meta physical knowledge.”
He talked about the bourgeois concept that those who go to school are more educated than the ones that cannot do it and asserted that people confuse instruction with culture.
Cave paintings, indigenous monuments in Guatemala, “Isn’t that culture? So, we think it is hard to understand the dimension of democracy of knowledge.
He also said there is much talk about the spreading of higher education, and he asks himself, what is the role of university inside certain society?
Frei Betto noted about the need to change transformational knowledge and practice and highlighted the importance of this event, “because it calls us to make reflections on the higher education we want for this changing world that is in danger to have the market as paradigm.”