We were shaken to hear last week that Lynda Tilley, our Africa correspondent, has died suddenly at the age of 52. She was a great advocate for humanism and human rights in Africa and she will be sorely missed by her friends all over the world.
Becoming fully human
Humanists believe that education, along with relationships, friendships, meaningful work and so on, is one of the primary ways in which we become fully human. And yet there seems to be a massive contrast between high-control utilitarian education, designed to churn out workers for the economy, and the kind of humanistic education which nurtures the human spirit to the fullest degree. It should be a case of both/and, not either/or, and yet the difference between these two styles of education is starkly revealed in this month's edition of Humanistically Speaking.
How can humanists respond to the increasingly high-pressure, stress-inducing, profit-maximising and dehumanising type of education which seems to be in the ascendant in so many countries? We don't have all the answers for you here at HumSpeak Towers, but I hope you will agree that our contributors this month have done an excellent job in setting out contrasting visions of what education is for.
One of the most remarkable stories this month is how Irumba Juma Siriwayo (Juma for short) persuaded a mixed community of Christian and Muslim parents in Uganda to run their new school on humanist principles, encouraging rational thinking and science, and welcoming children from all backgrounds. I hope you will read his articles and enjoy the photographs. And don't forget to press the 'like' button and share on your social media.
Two of our contributors this month are not real people. Alessia Ianucci and Andreas Isenberg (the clue is in their initials) are two talented writers we have conjured up for you from ChatGPT. I wanted to see if they could write interesting articles on the philosophy of education and the German educational concept of ‘Bildung’. I think they have succeeded, but please let me know what you think of this innovation.
If you like our articles, please share them on social media. Humanistically Speaking is a volunteer-produced, passion-fuelled, grassroots humanist magazine and we'd love to reach as many people around the world as possible. Thank you for your encouragement and support!