Constitutional change to ensure gender balance, election of Executive Committee and adoption of resolutions mark first day of Congress

published 22 July 2019 updated 22 August 2019

In a historic move, the Education International (EI) 8th Congress carried a resolution modifying the constitution that greatly promotes gender balance in terms of representation within their own global union. As a result, open seats for election have increased to 10 from 9 - with 50% of those seats designated for women. This means the Executive Board seats will increase to 27 from 26.

EI Progress Report

EI General Secretary David Edwards delivered the global union’s Progress Report and reassured delegates that despite all the world’s tyrants, dictators, haters, racists and democracy in disarray, he believes “progress has not paused; progress is not retreating or failing as some in the commentariat would have you believe.”

He reminded delegates that four years ago, EI was months away from the United Nations passage of the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 4, the stand-alone goal for education: “It was an outcome that had been one of our highest priorities and the centrepiece of our first global campaign.”

“From Ottawa to Bangkok we mapped out a multi-tiered strategy across numerous platforms at the global and regional level. Together with you all we chose the places and spaces that positioned us, our ideas, our values and our aims squarely at the point where we could have the most influence and impact.

Throughout his speech, Edwards highlighted EI’s major achievements, campaigns and research initiatives related to the privatisation and commercialisation of public education; gender equality; Indigenous education; refugee and migrant rights; higher education personnel; education support personnel; climate change; funding of education; trade deals and copyright.

In closing, Edwards stressed the importance of member organisations working together to bring an end to strongmen, technical advisers, privatising entrepreneurs, fearmongers, nativists, market fundamentalists, demagogues, narcissists and managerialists.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We braid the knowledge of our profession, with the strength of our trade union movement and the conviction of our social justice ideals.

We are much more than knowledge workers, we are organized wisdom workers.

We speak all languages. We bear witness to all atrocities and accomplishments.

We defend the truth.”

Election results

Susan Hopgood was re-elected by acclamation. This will be her third term.


Mugwena Maluleke- South Africa for African region

Masaki Okajima- Japan for Asia Region

Marlis Tepe- Germany for European region

Roberto Franklin de Leao- Brazil for South American region

Lily Eskelsen Garcia- USA for Caribbean and North American region

General Secretary - David Edwards- USA

Election for regional seats - nominations close at 10 a.m. on July 23