Latin America

published 24 September 2018 updated 9 October 2018

Latin America

VII Regional Meeting of Indigenous Peoples and Public Education

From 8-9 August in Asunción, Paraguay, the VII Regional Meeting of Indigenous Peoples and Public Education analysed the Indigenous teachers’ situation in Latin America and ways to help them be better represented by the unions.

Participants from Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru also stressed the need for a higher affiliation rate of indigenous teachers in the unions.

Gender equality workshop in Paraguay

From 6-7 August in Asunción, Paraguay, the Unión Nacional de Educadores-Sindicato Nacional(UNE-SN) and the Organización de Trabajadores de la Educación Paraguaya-Auténtica(OTEP-A), both EI affiliates, organised workshops in coordination with the EI Latin America (EILA) women’s network, the RED de Trabajadoras de la Educación, to take stock of progress made towards implementing a policy aiming to achieve gender equality within trade unions.

Participants discussed gender inequity in Paraguay and the Women's Network work at a national level. They also discussed gender disparity in union leadership, gender-associated roles in the family, and gender violence. The also highlighted the need for a gender equality policy within unions, to ensure that gender equality is copperfastened within the organisation.

EI Latin America Regional Committee meeting

On 23 July, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the Minister of Education of Bolivia, Roberto Aguilar Gomez, hosted a meeting of the EILA Regional Committee, whose theme was “Trends in education in Latin America: Privatisation and Commercialisation” ( Tendencia de la Educacion en America Latina: Privatizacion y Comercio). The meeting was livestreamed and followed by 29,384 Bolivian teachers.

The meeting developed and endorsed an EILA declaration in support of quality public, democratic, and inclusive, free, and secular education, guaranteed by the state as a right. This was delivered to the 2nd UNESCO Regional Meeting of Ministers of Education of Latin America and the Caribbean, held from 25-26 July, by EI General Secretary David Edwards, together with EILA President Hugo Yasky.

Latin American Pedagogical Movement in Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic took a step towards the Latin American Pedagogical Movement on 5 June during a trade union meeting organised in Santo Domingo by the EILA Regional Office with its three national affiliates: the Federación de Asociaciones de Profesores de la Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo(FAPROUASD), the Asociación Dominicana de Profesores(ADP), and the Asociación Nacional de Profesores y Técnicos de la Educación(ANPROTED).

The regional context, the expanding privatisation and commercialisation of education in the country, and ways to fight it were discussed, as well as the ongoing need for trade unions to tackle media and government attacks on them by strengthening their response/proposal abilities.

The advance of privatisation in and of education was also discussed as well as the Global Response advances.

Support to affiliates in Colombia

EI supported its affiliate, the Federación Colombiana de Educadores(FECODE), following an attack on the teacher union’s head office on 18 May, urging its member organisations to support the Colombian union. Attacks occurred at a time when FECODE was spearheading a nationwide strike aiming to improve salaries and working conditions. In keeping with FECODE’s motto, EI demands that schools remain “peaceful territories”.

Colombia’s education system has been subject to several budget cuts since 2016, making the provision of quality education impossible. EI has supported FECODE in staging strikes to protest against cuts in education funding.

EI also condemned the assassinations and threats targeting Colombian educators, trade unionists, and social leaders. Several teachers have been assassinated, threatened and targeted by violent groups in Colombia. EI urged the Colombian authorities to propose real and lasting solutions to sustain and promote free quality public education.