EI Global Response planning meeting and study launch event in Lebanon
On 11 April, 18 teachers and school leaders representing EI affiliates in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq - the Public Primary Schools Teachers’ League in Lebanon (PPSTL), the Ligue des Professeurs de l'Enseignement Secondaire Public du Liban(LPESPL), the Teachers’ Syndicate of Lebanon (TSL), the Comité des enseignants techniques officiels(CETO), the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU), the Iraqi Teachers’ Union (ITU), and the General Union of Workers in Teaching (GUWT) - participated in a one-day planning meeting on the EI Global Response against the privatisation and commercialisation in and of education initiative organised by Angelo Gavrielatos and the EI Arab countries office.
The objectives were to:
· Familiarise EI affiliates with the work done globally within the Global Response project
· Make affiliates aware of their role towards governments and their obligations concerning the achievement of SDG 4 calling for “inclusive and equitable quality education…for all”
· Develop strategies to expose and reverse government policies/trends facilitating and encouraging a growing commercialisation and privatisation of education
On 12 April, together with these member organisations, EI released a landmark report, “Investing in the crisis: Private participation in the education of Syrian refugees”. Exploring the complex interrelationship between conflict and private sector participation, the report, by University of Massachusetts Assistant Professors Francine Menashy and Zeena Zakharia, raises serious questions about the ethical tensions between humanitarian and profit motivations through a case study of the education of Syrian refugees.
At the launch event, EI’s affiliates issued a joint statement supporting EI’s position and the research. At an earlier planning meeting, member organisations began the process of developing strategies to ensure that governments fulfil their obligations with respect to the rights of Syrian refugee children, including the provision of free quality public education.
11th EI-ACCRS standing committee meeting in Lebanon
The newly elected Committee of the EI Arab Countries Cross-Regional Structure (ACCRS) held its 11th standing committee meeting on 9-10 May in Beirut.
The members appointed Hussein Boujarra (Tunisia) as chairperson and Abdelmaoula Bouzzit (Morocco) as vice-chairperson. Committee member Mahdi Abu Deeb (Bahrain) was absent due to a travel ban imposed on him by the Bahraini authorities, but he was able to contribute by phone. Members discussed privatisation trends in education in most Arab countries, the violation of teachers’ rights, the impact of the refugee crisis in the Arab countries on education and the role of education unions in this regard. Gender equality issues in Arab countries were also discussed, in relation to the EI World Women’s Conference to be held in February 2018 in Morocco.
Education International was represented by Executive Board member Mugwena Maluleke, Deputy General Secretary Haldis Holst, and Regional Coordinator Huda Khoury.