Stress the importance of public education for universal welfare

published 25 July 2011 updated 14 May 2024

The 6th World Congress of Education International (EI) meeting in Cape Town, South Africa from 22-26 July 2011, 1. WHEREAS governments throughout the world are often encouraged to promote and provide public money to schools with minimal public accountability and limited value to society as a whole; and 2. WHEREAS as early as 1978 the OECD Ministers of Education noted that public education represented, “a desire to free people from disadvantage, to unbind them, rather than a proposal to free them to undertake some particular enterprise” and that public education is a way to redistribute power to the population of a country, such that the need for social awareness and peace education is imperative; and 3. WHEREAS it is public education which enables all young people to be provided for regardless of their social and cultural origins; and 4. WHEREAS groups in society are pressuring governments for increased individual or special interest group control of education and/or increased access to the education sector from a commodity approach; and 5. WHEREAS education unions throughout the world are experiencing frontal attacks on their legitimacy such that they need to join together to show that there are viable alternatives to the market driven reforms; and 6. WHEREAS many countries are experiencing pressure to place the interests of private education or special interest group education ahead of universal public education such that teachers have need to present their vision of society in more easily understood and captivating ways, 7. BE IT RESOLVED that in all of its activities working with governmental and non-governmental groups EI stress the significance of using publicly supported education as a means to improve the welfare of all groups within society and oppose the use of public funds for education that is not universal in nature; and 8. BE IT RESOLVED that EI encourage one or more small groups of member organizations to organize and conduct major international conferences for the purpose of making visible the success of public education; and 9. BE IT RESOLVED That EI explore the concept of working with ITUC and/or others to develop an internationally supported Education Sector Trade Union Programme of support for direct involvement of education labour groups in developed and developing countries in presenting the role of public education in peace education and social development.