• March 31st, 2020

The economic justification of lifelong learning



Lifelong learning is an emerging concept that has managed to find its way into the centre of many neo-development theories and concepts, such as globalisation, liberalisation, progressivism and economics.

These neo-development theories and concepts are complex in a conceptual and applicability nature. In order for one to really grasp their cognitive nature, a grounded sense of learning needs to be imposed. 
The concept of lifelong learning adds a strong knowledge extension to many of the above-mentioned neo-development theories and concepts. It holds that a theory or concept does not remain static upon its discovery. One can attest to this in the mere fact that economics was once seen as a concept that described capital, economic growth and means of production. It had no aspect of social development towards it. Economics based its premise on how much is earned and how much more can be made.

However, continued learning and research unearthed that there is a whole world behind the concept of economics. This led to the concept evolving in terms of conceptual understanding and theoretical analysis. The trickling down of the concept brought forth new notions such as socio-economic development and sustainable economic development. This process of conceptual evolvement is called the ‘lifeworld’. Edmund Husserl defines the ‘lifeworld’ as a place distinct and different from the more systematic observation and considered reflection that characterises the science. 

It would be detrimental to the notion of development as a whole if there was no form of evolvement of the concept of economics. Lifelong learning facilitates the emancipative growth and expansion in areas such as economics. Its place in economics is that it allows one to continue learning about the concept and further unearth new learning dimensions without taking too much away from it. 

Lifelong learning in its totality is a pivotal catalyst towards Namibia’s enduring path to economic emancipation and fulfilment. Lifelong learning is a learning process where skills, knowledge and competencies are acquired. These skills, knowledge and competencies are designed to deal with and tackle developmental needs. 

Namibia in its endeavours towards socio-economic and sustainable growth commands that a highly skilled efficient and continuous learning nation be in place to deal with its stages of growth and headwinds. This needs to be a priority, as this is a notion that Namibia is far left out off. 

One can say that the skills revolution is needed for Namibians to be able to actively participate and respond to economic and monetary needs. Each year on end, we hear that the infrastructural economy is set to contract, and industrials are set to shed off more jobs. Lifelong learning can facilitate the process of garnering an understanding of what learning and development needs and approaches can be utilised to mitigate economic situations. 

The significance of this process is that once we have given meaning to the learning sensation and commit a meaning to our role in building a learning society, then the significance of the learning sensation itself recedes in future experiences as the socially acceptable answer (meaning) dominates the process – and when disjuncture then occurs, it is because we cannot understand the meaning, we do not know the meaning of the word ‘economics’, and so on. It is in learning it that we incorporate culture into ourselves; this we do in most, if not all, of our learning experiences. In this sense, we carry social meaning within ourselves – whatever social reality is it is incorporated in us through learning

Lifelong learning is the modus by which we, as a society, need to carry the meaning and the scope of economics because it influences and forms part of our daily lives. It is inevitable to try and resist it. We cannot allow the meaning of economics to be a formal education narrative, but we must simplify its meaning to all, including those on the margins of development. 

In my final analysis, this awareness is not only a segment of our life-world upon which we need to focus; it is also an episode in time – it is an experience that we must utilise to our utmost benefit. We need to distinguish this meaning of the word ‘economics’ from that of total experience or life-history, and we do so here by calling it an experience.


Staff Reporter
2020-02-28 07:34:31 | 1 months ago

Be the first to post a comment...