Education International
Education International

Latin America: Regional Conference defends public education

published 17 June 2011 updated 21 June 2011

Among the outcomes of EI’s eighth Latin America Regional Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, were statements to defend quality public education, support for teachers in disputes across the region, and a proposal to revitalise the Latin American educational movement.

Held bi-annually, the Regional Conference was attended by more than 200 delegates from across the continent and with special guests from around the world. Among the international dignitaries was EI President, Susan Hopgood, who addressed the closing ceremony. She was joined by guests from fellow EI-affiliate member unions, including the NEA (USA), FETE-UGT and FECCOO (Spain), and UEN (Norway).

Speakers at the Conference included the Colombian Senator, Gloria Ramírez, who conveyed greetings, as well as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Buenos Aires, Francisco Nenna, as well as the Nicaraguan MP, José Antonio Zepeda.

In the final session of the Conference, there was a unanimous vote in support of calls for justice in the Carlos Fuentealba case. Carlos was an Argentinean teacher and trade unionist who was murdered by the police in 2007. The Conference was dedicated to the memory of his service and his sacrifice in defence of the rights of teachers.

The Southern Cone meeting of the Education Workers’ Network issued a statement on gender equality; public servants in education; higher education, and the situation of teaching unions in Honduras and Ecuador.

The principal declaration of the Regional Conference highlighted the consistent work done by education unions to defend public education “as a force for liberation and emancipation, where children are taught and learn – in a spirit of independence – critical thinking, solidarity and integration in the midst of diversity.”

To see pictures about the Conference please click here