Arab education unions focus on union renewal and quality education

Teacher union leaders in Arab-speaking countries have discussed ways to better engage with young and new teachers and steps necessary to achieve access to quality education for all by 2030 in their region.

These issues were the main focus during the 12th Education International (EI) Arab Countries Cross Regional Structure (ACCRS) Committee meeting, held from 13-14 December in Beirut, Lebanon.

The opening address, by EI ACCRS Committee Chair Hussein Boujarra (FGESRS Tunisia), was followed by a session in remembrance of former Committee Chair Taher Dhaker, who sadly passed away in July.

The Committee afterwards went on to discuss union renewal and religious segregation in schools. Manal Hdaife (PPSTLL Lebanon) highlighted the importance of involving young members in union activities and related to the Committee how inspiring it was to take part in the EI Young SDGs Advocates seminar held in Brussels in July, and exchange experiences with colleagues from the world over.

Slim Griss (SGEB Tunisia) gave an inspiring introduction to a discussion on the implementation of the SGDs. He highlighted several challenges for Arab-speaking countries, among them the importance of expanding Early Childhood Education, addressing the lack of gender equality and the lack of sufficient funding.

Further discussion points for Committee members comprised information on the theme for the upcoming EI World Congress’s theme and possible resolutions, current EI campaigns and future EI meetings, as well as an update on progress made in the implementation of the Arab region’s 2017-2018 activity programme.

“The development of union work in Arab countries in relation to union freedom and democracy, with emphasis on defending and enhancing public education and combatting violent extremism, is the most important challenge we have at the moment. This Committee and all EI affiliates in the region will stand together to tackle this issue,” Committee Chair Hussein Boujarra concluded.

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