Education International
Education International

EI President calls for a commitment to public education in Argentina

published 28 November 2011 updated 20 December 2011

EI’s Argentinian affiliate, SUTEBA, organised an international forum on quality public education in Buenos Aires, on 24-25 November.

The forum Educación pública de calidad, un compromiso de todos(A Commitment from all of us to Quality Public Education) marked the end of a year of ongoing political and educational debates organised by SUTEBA, with the participation of over 18,000 teachers from their base organisations. The theme: public education as a tool to promote more justice and solidarity in the country.

A wide range of  activists from regional, national and international unions attended the event, alongside national and provincial political representatives from both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communication of Argentina.

During the event, CTERA General Secretary and member of EI Executive Board, Stella Maldonado, reminded participants of the value of EI 6th World Congress and the approval of EI Education Policy Paper, at a time in which unions should position themselves with regard to the desired model for public education. She added that unions "should not only demand higher salaries, but should, first and foremost, influence the development model."

In this respect, Maldonado underlined the fact that schools have not been privatised in Argentina  partly thanks to unions’ educational policies that have given them specific tools to oppose current neo-liberal policies.

Participants included the President of the Australian Education Union, Angelo Gavrielatos, as well as Combertty Rodríguez and Hugo Yasky, IEAL Chief Regional Coordinator and President of the EI Regional Committee, respectively.  EI President, Susan Hopgood, also attended the forum.

During her speech, Hopgood condemned the current attacks on public education as being attacks against democracy: "Reducing investment in education is sabotaging girls and boys’ future. Investment in education is a promise that must be maintained and reinforced from one generation to another. Solidarity is the key word."