From 6-8 March, 40 representatives from both Education International (EI) and Action Aid International (AAI) met in Johannesburg, South Africa in a meeting to discuss mutual co-operation on various issues and reaffirm their strong relations. The meeting was opened by EI President Thulas Nxesi.
Both EI and AAI share a deep passion for securing quality basic education for all. Both organisations see education as a fundamental right and as a defining responsibility of governments. Both see the commitments in the Dakar Framework of Action on Education For All (and the education Millenium Development Goals - MDGs - drawn from that) as key reference points, to which all governments should be held accountable.
The concluding results of the talks, called the Parktonian Recommendations, which concern 7 key areas will form the basis of further development within the wider decision-making bodies of both organisations. The key areas are: 1. On macro-economics and the IMF 2. On non-professional teachers 3. On violence against girls in schools 4. On education and HIV/AIDS 5. On school-level governance 6. On privatisation and public education 7. On building a code of ethics
The discussion allowed for the convergence of the position of both organisations regarding the recruitment of non-professional teachers, which does not constitute a qualitative response to the goal of Education For All. Both organisations also endeavour to continue their work in lobbying with international financial institutions, governments, donor organisations and NGOs active in the education sector.
All country delegations at this initial meeting are encouraged to jointly convene workshops, inviting ActionAid and teacher union representatives from neighbouring countries to share this agenda more widely. At an international level, both EI and AAI will monitor the progress of this partnership and will convene a second international meeting to maintain momentum, within two years.