The Peoples' Institute for Re-thinking Education and Development

Walkouts Network

Today, those who have the good sense to choose to leave the dominant system of education are labeled by it as 'drop-outs'. This negative term connotes failing and incompetence, and is applied to those who don't fit in the competitive schooling or college system or the rat-race. We view the decision to walk out (or rise out) of formal educational structures/institutions, as a thoughtful and positive choice, in the spirit of satyagraha and non-cooperation. Far from signifying incompetence, walking out and walking on demonstrates intelligence, creativity and courage of conviction. It also exposes education for what is: a deep form of violence against peoples' minds, bodies and spirits, which cuts them off from nature, their family, communities, culture, work, expression, and themselves. Furthermore, walking out represents a strong form of dissent against the global political economy. It is a powerful indication of reclaiming control over one's own learning, and therefore, over one's own life. It is an important step in decolonizing ourselves and moving towards swaraj.