Education International
Education International

Dominican Republic: Investment in public education now!

published 7 October 2011 updated 13 October 2011

Teachers’ unions in the Dominican Republic have mobilised the entire population to lobby the government to invest four per cent of its GDP into education.

EI members in the Dominican Republic – the Asociación Dominicana de Profesores (ADP) and the Asociación Nacional de Profesionales y Técnicos de la Educación (ANPROTED– have formed the Coalición Educación Digna to promote the campaign to secure four per cent of GDP for public education in the country.

The campaign demands the implementation of General Law of Education 66/97 which was promulgated in 1997 by President Leonel Fernández. This law obliges each government to spend 16 per cent of its total budget, or four per cent of Gross Domestic Product - whichever sum is the greater- on pre-university education. However, more than 13 years later, this law has never been implemented.

For EI’s Executive Board member and leader of the ADP, María Teresa Cabrera, the situation is unbearable: “The systematic failure to comply this legal mandate explains why 11 per cent of the population in the Dominican Republic is still illiterate at the age of 15. We demand the Legislative Assembly to approve that four per cent of the national budget be spent on public education in 2012.”

On 2 October, the Coalición Educación Digna, organised a protest march for education in Santo Domingo. The march also made reference to the situations in Chile and Spain where people continue to demonstrate and fight for quality public education without cutbacks and with financial support from the government.

On 4 October, teachers received international support for their claims for investment in education when campaigners lobbied the Dominican Republic’s embassies in many countries across Latin America, including Honduras, El Salvador, Argentina, Costa Rica and Peru. In Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Chile, solidarity was shown with the Dominican people during activities on 5 October, World Teacher’s Day.

EI stands in solidarity with the Dominican Republic in their struggle for the fundamental right to a free, universally accessible and well-resourced public education.EI’s Education Policy, recently approved at the EI World Congress, states that: “Governments can and must invest a substantial proportion of the state budget in education, amounting to at least six per cent of their GDP.”

To see pictures of the mobilisations please go here

To see a video of the mobilisations please go here