The 42nd EI Executive Board (ExBo) meeting, held from 3-5 December in Brussels, Belgium, has adopted a series of decisions pertaining to the next EI World Congress, as well as the EI Programme and Budget. It has also confirmed the need to keep exerting high pressure on key decision-makers at global, national, regional and local levels to achieve quality public education for all. Furthermore, it debated the results of the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
EI World Congress
On 3 December, participants decided that the theme for the EI 7th EI World Congress to be held in July 2015 in Ottawa, Canada, will be linked to the latest EI initiative: Unite for quality education-Better education for a better world (Unite).
They decided that the EI officers will come up with a list of policy briefs completing the EI Education Policy Paper adopted in 2011 at the 6th EI World Congress, to be presented at the next EI Executive Board meeting, in October 2014.
2012 OECD’s PISA results
Following of the release of the 2012 PISA results by the OECD on the same day, the Head of the OECD division responsible for PISA Michael Davidson made a presentation, and engaged in a debate with EI ExBo members.
EI Programme and Budget
Concerning the EI 2011-2015 Programme and Budget, EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen presented on 4 December a report on implementation of policy and action proposals by Congress, which was adopted.
He reaffirmed that EI undertook over the last nine month a number of high-level activities aiming at implementing trade union and human rights, i.e. in Bahrain, Korea, Swaziland and Turkey.
Participants also welcomed reports made on the latest development cooperation and OrgNet meetings, as well as progress made on EI policy regarding China.
Unite for quality education campaign
“Give Unite initiative visibility,” EI Deputy General Secretary David Edwards later urged participants. “Unite goes right across EI, and all EI staff and all EI affiliates are contributing to this major effort to guarantee quality education remains high on the post-2015 development agenda.”
He also reminded them that Unite aims at:
- Creating awareness that quality public education provision for all is one of the fundamental pillars of a just and equitable society;
- Demonstrating that privatisation undermines public education and is detrimental to the interests of society;
- Ensuring that the free, universal quality EFA Goal is a central part of any global post-2015 development strategy.
Edwards went on to underline that Unite is an umbrella for EI affiliates’ national campaigns and a unique opportunity to talk about issues related to the campaign at global level.
Video about the Unite campaign launch in New York and Paris:
ExBo members also decided in favour of the creation of a Unite Solidarity Fund to which member organisations can contribute what resources they can to support organising and mobilisation activities for EI affiliates in developing countries.
They passed among themselves the toko toko, a talking stick symbolising the passing on of stories, knowledge and learning in the Maori culture. By doing so, they highlighted their commitment to ensure quality teachers and education personnel worldwide are able to provide quality education for all.
Video on the toko toko: