Education International
Education International

Back to School during Global Action Week

published 19 May 2008 updated 19 May 2008

Global Action Week 2008 lived up to its name and proved to be a truly global occasion, with coalitions of teachers’ unions issuing a simultaneous call in support of education rights everywhere for everyone. The World’s Biggest Lesson was a record-breaking event and brought the theme to a large global audience.

There were new beginnings in Afghanistan as Global Action Week was marked for the first time, with the World’s Biggest Lesson held in Kabul attended by the Vice-President Ahmad Zia Masuood. Bangladesh recorded an impressive turn-out in the World’s Biggest Lesson with an estimated 2.5million participants. Customised publicity material set the tone for a diverse and colourful programme of art competitions and street theatre.

In Argentina events were organised nationwide by the national coalition under leadership from the Confederation of Education Workers of the Republic of Argentina. Secondary level students met with senators at the National Congress to discuss how to best to promote and protect the right to education in national law. The E-net coalition in the Philippines focused on exclusion, and children performed a dance show highlighting child labour as a barrier to education.

In Namibia representatives from the National Teachers’ Union accompanied politicians back to school and participated in the lesson. In Côte d’Ivoire, Global Action Week was celebrated despite strike action as enterprising unions organised a full programme of events a week in advance. Salimata Doumbia, General Secretary of the SNEPPCI Union, stressed “It’s time to campaign for the EFA plans to be ratified by the government to enable our country to benefit from major international funding”.

Education International congratulates the energy of teachers’ unions worldwide and their success in highlighting Education for All through individual and coalition activities. We are eager to hear about Global Action Week events from all our members and their partners. We encourage you to report back with stories and images to [email protected] as soon as possible.