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The World Congress, held every four years, is the supreme governing body of Education International. The next Congress will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from July 22nd to July 26th, 2011.

The Congress provides an opportunity for representatives of all EI affiliates to meet and strengthen the bonds of solidarity between teachers and education workers throughout the world. Delegates consider the major contemporary issues affecting their organisations, the international teacher trade union movement, and the ongoing struggle to achieve quality public education for all.


The theme for the 6th World Congress is "Building the Future through Quality Education." It was determined by Education International’s Executive Board in March 2010, and provides the framework for the four sub-themes:

  • Achieving Quality Education
  • Inclusive quality education for an inclusive society
  • Trade unions working together at national and international levels
  • Future of education beyond the economic crisis

who are we
Education International Logo

Education International is the global union federation of organisations that represents over 30 million teachers and other education workers, through 402 member organisations in 173 countries and territories. For more information, please visit our website:


The Congress programme includes plenary sessions, caucuses and network meetings, social events and an awards ceremony. The outline programme and the outline for breakout sessions are available for download in PDF format (to be able to open PDFs, you need to have Adobe Reader installed, which is available to download for free).

  • Caucuses and Network Meetings: Wednesday and Thursday,
    18-21 July 2011
  • Opening: Friday,
    22 July 2011
  • Congress Sessions: Saturday to Monday,
    23-25 July 2011
  • Closing: Tuesday,
    26 July 2011

A highlight of every World Congress is the Awards Dinner, when Education International honours outstanding members of the teaching profession. The stories of these distinguished educators, their accomplishments and commitment, never fail to inspire one and all.

The Albert Shanker Education Award is given to a teacher or education employee in recognition of his or her personal contribution to education.

The Mary Hatwood Futrell Human and Trade Union Rights Award is given to a national or local union leader or activist who has undertaken courageous and exemplary action to defend and promote human and trade union rights.

Member organisations have received nomination forms for either award prior to the Congress.

cape town

EI’s World Congress is held every four years, in each of the continents in turn. This time, it’s the turn of Africa, and the EI Executive Board has chosen Cape Town and the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) as the venue.

The second largest city in South Africa, Cape Town has a rich history and a vibrant urban culture, making it Africa’s most popular tourist destination. Cape Town is famous for its beautiful harbour and is backed by its well-known landmark, Table Mountain. The city was also an important centre of the anti-apartheid movement. Many leaders, including Nelson Mandela, were imprisoned for years on Robben Island, the penitentiary island 10 kliometres offshore.

EI has partnered with Winners Ltd. to make it easy for Congress participants to plan excursions and trips before or after the event. Further information is available in the participants’ section of this website or on the Cape Town Tourism Information website.


This is a Flickr badge showing items from EI's Flickr account.

Check out the photos from our previous World Congresses! Photos of the 6th World Congress will be available once the event is taking place in Cape Town in July 2011. All our photos can be reproduced for non-commerical use under the Creative Commons license.

>>> Photo slideshow

frequently asked questions

What is the EI World Congress?

Held every four years, the EI World Congress is the supreme governing authority of Education International. The World Congress determines the policies, principles of action and programmes of the organisation. It elects the Officers (President, Vice Presidents and General Secretary) and other members of EI’s Executive Board. The World Congress also adopts the general budget and determines the membership fees. Each EI member organisation is entitled to be represented by at least one delegate.

Who can take part in the EI World Congress?

Participants are nominated by EI’s member organisations. The Secretariat advises each member organisation of the number of delegates and votes allocated on the basis of the dues paid.
Members of the press are welcome to attend and report on the Congress proceedings.