In these times of economic crisis, when governments and financial institutions are focused on drastic public spending cuts, it is all the more important that teachers and their unions develop the skills and knowledge to successfully advocate for public investment in quality education.
That’s why Action Aid International and Education International have teamed up to produce a comprehensive and practical Toolkit for teachers’ unions, national coalitions, NGOs and others to deal with strategic issues around education financing.
“How do we make the case for expanding the tax base and increasing investment in education?” asked David Archer, head of education for Action Aid International. “We need to build broad alliances and a solid evidence base to influence not only Ministries of Education, but also Ministries of Finance in every country. This is the rationale behind the Toolkit.”
The Toolkit contains easy to read resources on topics like macroeconomics, which are often considered complex and intimidating. It also includes the evidence teachers need to promote national campaigns based on credible research and informed activism, as well as materials such as a campaign CD, posters and bookmarks to help raise awareness.
Archer noted that now – when education spending is under such threat – is the time to hold governments and international financial institutions to account. “And we have had some success,” he said. “For example, the IMF did back down on the question of public sector wage caps.”
EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen welcomed the joint release of the Toolkit, saying: “We all fully understand that achievement of Education For All by 2015 will require the combined effort of teacher unions and civil society organisations in all countries and all regions.”
Van Leeuwen noted that EI has been fortunate to establish its partnership with AAI, which shares the strong commitment to ensuring that every child can enjoy his or her right to quality education. Together, the two organisations, as well as Oxfam Novib and the Global March Against Child Labour, helped to found the Global Campaign for Education, considered one of the most successful campaigns in the framework of civil society work towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and EFA targets.
The tool kit is available for download from the link below.