Germany: Educators elect leadership

published 9 May 2017 updated 11 June 2018

The German education union GEW has elected its leadership and new program during its conference “Re-Think education”, an event with a strong focus on international solidarity.

From May 6-10, 432 delegates from the Gewerkschaft Erziehung Wissenschaft (GEW), a German affiliate to Education International (EI), have re-elected Marlis Tepe as chairperson and agreed on a new program, which shows a strong commitment to international solidarity.

Fred van Leeuwen represented EI at the event and highlighted in his address that “we have to commit to equity and justice, in the classroom, in our schools and in the whole of society”. He also underlined the importance of having a well-organised, strong and determined teaching force which helps students to become “critical and informed thinkers, who can tell facts from political ideology”, in “what can be at best described as difficult times” that we are going through, he said.

During the conference Van Leeuwen met Sakine Yilmaz, former president of the Turkish teachers’ union Egitim Sen, who currently lives in Germany as a refugee after having suffered political persecution in her own country. She was recently featured in a joint documentary video by EI and GEW.