Reasserting the need for quality secondary education and public services

published 7 April 2015 updated 10 April 2015

The future of quality secondary education and public services was among the hot topics debated by Education International and its affiliates, who were actively involved in the World Social Forum last month in Tunisia.

Thousands of Tunisian high school and university students joined an equal number of activists from 5,000 associations and unions from around the world to make the Tunisian capital, Tunis, the epicentre of economic, social and cultural alternatives at the World Social Forum(WSF), which took place from 24-28 March.

More than 1,000 workshops covered a considerable number of issues, such as war and migration, climate and environment, women, gender, social protection, public services, and education.

For the French Syndicat National des Enseignements de Second Degré-Fédération Syndicale Unitaire(SNES-FSU), the World Social Forum provided a key opportunity to tackle the issue of global justice only days after gunmen carried out a deadly attack in the capital city.

“The fact that, a few days after the attack at the Bardo museum, Tunis hosted the World Social Forum for the second consecutive time is a strong symbol for a country where civil society is striving to build a path to democracy since the 2011 revolution,” stressed SNES-FSU Representative Florian Lascroux.

He said that once again the WSF has shown that on every continent, progressive forces are facing similar difficulties, and leading the same battles.

Lascroux went on to underline that confronting analyses, sharing experiences of struggles, is an essential step to building credible alternatives and inventing new forms of action. He however regretted that “the media has once again ignored the importance and existence of the WSF”.

The SNES-FSU, together with other Education International (EI) member organsiations - such as the German Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft, the Portuguese Federação Nacional dos Professores, Turkey’s E?itim Sen, the Greek Federation of Secondary State School Teachers, and the Italian Federazione Lavoratori della Conoscenza CGIL - organised the seminar “Towards a second degree for all? The challenge of the post-2015 process!”

The event brought together union representatives from the seminar organisers, as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, and EI Consultant Richard Langlois.

The seminar “Public services, a fundamental element of social cohesion and development!” jointly organised by the FSU, the French Confédération générale du travail – a trade union Confederation –, Solidaires and Public Services International, also allowed activists from Algeria, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Guinea, Morocco, Quebec and Spain to express their views and discuss current trade union challenges and concerns.