9th World Congress: Increasing education budgets to develop a more just, inclusive, and sustainable world

published 13 July 2023 updated 25 August 2023

From July 11th–13th Education International's member organisations around the world came together around the theme of ‘Growing our unions, elevating our professions, defending democracy.’

On the third and final day, the delegates committed to continue their engagement with EI's Go Public! Fund Education campaign which calls on governments to invest more in public education and in teachers, the single most important factor in achieving quality education.

Go Public! Fund Education campaign

Launched on 24th January, International Day of Education, the EI Go Public! Fund Education campaign is a global mobilisation to fund public education and the teaching profession. It will support EI member organisations in their fight against budget cuts, austerity, and privatisation, and as they mobilise to build inclusive, quality public education for all.

Addressing delegates at the 9th EI World Congress, EI General Secretary David Edwards explained that “under the banner of EI, the Go Public! Fund Education campaign launched earlier this year is putting a spotlight on education financing, on corporate irresponsibility and on government accountability.”

He went on to highlight that this campaign represents “a fight for investment in the public sector, a new social contract focused on the value of collecting and deploying the people’s money for the public good. We are fighting international finance agency restraints on the public sector that block teacher recruitment and limit teacher salaries. Tens of millions of new teachers are needed globally. This is no time to divest from the public good, it is a time to invest.”

Large corporations and wealthy individuals can no longer be allowed to leverage the financial system for short-term profitmaking including the extraction and use of toxic energy sources like coal, while raising prices, hiding assets, and avoiding taxation, Edwards also underlined.

This campaign has already been endorsed and successfully launched by EI member organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

In her closing speech, EI President Susan Hopgood thanked the delegates “for your thoughtful interventions and your patience, and for your time and attention, after all, the most valuable asset each of us has. Your online presence is a statement of permanence.”

She also stated that “we gave the organisation authority – by an overwhelming vote – to be prepared for the future as an organisation. We made the Constitution and Bylaws more inclusive, more user-friendly and more readable.”

We saw and heard great evidence of work done in the past four years, she said. “Even in the shortened version [of the Progress Report] that we received for this online Congress, the amount of work, the reach and impact of EI, has been quite remarkable.”

Emphasizing that much of the focus of the upcoming work will be on EI global campaign, Go Public! – Fund Education, Hopgood went on explaining that education unions around the world are joining forces to build inclusive quality public education for all.

“We are mobilising to fully fund public education systems and resist budget cuts, austerity, and privatisation. We are working together across borders to guarantee every student’s right to have a well-supported qualified teacher and a quality learning environment.”

She concluded: “You have represented the 32 million educators in 381 unions in 178 countries very well in this World Congress and I look forward to seeing you next year in person at the 10th World Congress in Buenos Aires.”

For more information on the 9th EI World Congress check the EI website and on our social media platforms ( #EICongress; Twitter: @eduint; Facebook: Education International; Instagram: eduint). Spread the word and join the conversation!