Education International and its teachers' unions worldwide are playing a leading role in the Global Action Week to increase the pressure on governments to demonstrate greater leadership to ensure that all children get the chance to be taught by qualified teachers.
Global Action Week aims at mobilising public opinion to exert pressure on governments and intergovernmental agencies to provide free quality public education for all. Global Action Week is organised in April each year, to recall the commitment made by 180 governments at the World Education Forum in April 2000 to provide Education For All by the year 2015. This commitment was renewed in September 2000 in the context of the UN Millennium Development Goals. This year will see the 7th annual Global Action Week in which EI, together with its partner organisation the Global Campaign for Education, will demand the right to education of millions of children currently excluded from education. Global Action Week is one of the many advocacy activities undertaken by EI to remind governments and donor agencies of their responsibility to provide quality public education to all children. To get over 100 million more children to school, countries need better infrastructure, teachers, and materials. This year, Global Action Week activities will make the case for teachers. Over 15 million new teachers are needed to attain universal education. Qualified teachers are the key to quality education. They need to be fully trained, and to have status, respect, decent wages and adequate working conditions. To this end, teachers worldwide will mobilise with their unions as well as NGOs working on education issues. Teachers' unions affiliated to EI in 46 countries (Australia, India, Kenya and United Kingdom to name but a few) will organise a range of local and national events in support of the Global Action Week. In Haiti, the teachers' union CNEH has drawn up a map pinpointing all of the schools which are run by a single teacher to present to political leaders; in Canada, the teachers' federation CTF has invited members of parliament to a breakfast session to discuss the education millennium development goals; in Brazil, the teachers' union CNTE is mobilising support for its proposal to convert the external debt of Brazil into funds for education. Contact your local GCE coalition or teachers' union to find out more about GAW activities in your country. EI's websection http://www.ei-ie.org/globalactionweek/ is updated regularly to keep you abreast of developments.