ORGANISING IN MYANMAR
The EI Asia-Pacific Regional Office (EIAP) and the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) held a joint strategic planning meeting from 3-4 May in Yangon, Myanmar. The meeting aimed to formally develop a structured organising initiative and a 2016 action plan. The CTUM has already successfully organised local and township trade unions. It assured the EIAP that the CTUM-Education Federation of Myanmar will be registered by end-2016. Shashi Bala Singh and Rey Dolot represented EI.
BUILDING BRIDGES IN VIETNAM
The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL)/Trade Union Solidarity Support Organisations (TUSSOs)/Global Union Federations’ (GUFs) sixth information-sharing and cooperation meeting was held from 10-11 May at the VGCL training centre in Haiphong, Vietnam. Outcomes and developments in the last two years of cooperation with VGCL were discussed, including the roadmap for VGCL reform to efficiently meet future challenges and better represent the rights and interests of workers, as mandated by its 2016 Congress. Rey Dolot represented EI.
An evaluation-planning meeting about gender equality was held with the All India Primary Teachers Federation (AIPTF) on 13-14 May in New Delhi, India. It focused on the problems faced by women in trade unions, as well as the status and importance of women in trade unions. AIPTF affiliates addressed the challenges in engaging youth in trade unions, how to attract them into unions, and how to train them to become future leaders. It was recommended that affiliates should replicate the experiences of model states into their own state programmes. Education International was represented President Susan Hopgood, as well as Shashi Bala Singh and Pathma Krishnan.
On 17-19 May, an evaluation and planning meeting on gender equality was held in New Delhi, India, with the All India Federation of Teachers' Organisations (AIFTO) and its affiliates. It facilitated the sharing of information on the latest trends and developments on education and gender equality. Affiliates expressed concern about the status of contract or para teachers and lobbying the government to implement the 2009 Rights to Education Act. How to retain, animate, and motivate young members about union activities and leadership was also discussed. Pathma Krishnan represented EI.
A thematic working group (TWG) Education 2030 retreat was held on 18 May in Bangkok, Thailand. Its main
objective was to develop and finalise its terms of reference in the context of the SDG 4-Education 2030 and related SDGs, and in relation to the restructuring of the regional coordination mechanism in Asia and the Pacific. EI’s participation in the TWG helped to highlight the issue of quality teachers for the successful implementation of SDG 4. It was also agreed to form two sub-groups: one to concentrate on quality education with a strong focus on teachers, and the second to concentrate on financing the Education 2030 agenda. Anand Singh represented EI.
ASSESSING EDUCATION CHALLENGES IN TAJIKISTAN
Basic level workshops for education union leaders were held in Tajikistan, in Kulyab from 29-31 May, and in Kurgantub, from 1-3 June. They aimed especially to help participating leaders of theTrade Union Committee of Education and Science Workers of Tajikistan to: discuss the teacher unions’ role in the market economy; conduct an analysis of the current situation of education in Tajikistan; discuss the challenges/problems teachers, children and schools in Tajikistan are confronted with, and articulate possible solutions; understand the basic concepts and principles of leadership; and share information on and review the essential components and strategies of the Education for All campaign and the SDGs. Jerome Fernandez represented EI.