EI 9th World Congress: Educators connect to defend public education and elevate the profession

published 11 July 2023 updated 14 July 2023

Union delegates representing Education International (EI) member organisations around the globe connected online to participate in the EI 9th World Congress, from July 11th–13th with the theme ‘Growing our unions, elevating our professions, defending democracy.’

The EI World Congress, the supreme decision-making body of Education International, determines the policies, principles of action, programme and budget of the organisation. During the Congress, delegates will address proposed changes to the EI Constitution, take stock of the state of the world education systems.

This is the first ever World Congress held online, as the result of a 2021 Executive Board decision that was made when pandemic travel and vaccine uncertainties prevented delegates from convening in person on the original dates. An in-person 10th World Congress will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in July 2024

Day 1 of the 9th Education International (EI) World Congress was very busy as members from around the world connected and engaged across regions, languages, and time zones.

EI president Susan Hopgood welcomed delegates, congratulated them for their courage and persistence during the COVID pandemic and challenged them to continue to organise and mobilise for quality public education in every corner of the globe.

Hopgood called on delegates to join EI in demanding governments ensure that "public financing is directed to where it is needed most – ensuring that every student has a professionally-trained, qualified, and well-supported teacher, in a quality learning environment. Investment in the common good is fundamental to democracy and there is no better investment than quality public education with well-trained and well-compensated teachers.”

More on Susan's speech here

EI General Secretary David Edwards gave an update on EI's accomplishments and challenges around the world in the last few years, and invited members to continue to engage in EI's campaign Go Public! Fund Education.

"On nearly 200 occasions over these past four years, we gathered virtually online; from one-on-ones, to small groups and global conferences, keeping each other close in mission and purpose and raising all of our spirits, he said, adding that “no global organization outside of the primary health sector was more fully engaged in the global response to COVID than our federation.”

“So, I am reporting to you today, the 9th World Congress of Education International,” Edwards said adding that "we continue to make a difference worldwide. We will not stop.”

More on David's speech here

Constitutional change

During the session, delegates adopted a new article in the EI Constitution which addresses times of crisis and now reads: “The Executive Board may extend the time required for fulfilling, or vary the manner of performing, any requirement under the Constitution and By-Laws, if the Executive Board determines it necessary as a result of extraordinary circumstances or widespread disruptions to operations. Decisions of this nature shall be made by a two-thirds majority of all members of the Executive Board”.

Enabling resolution

As the EI Executive Board, in December 2021, felt it would be unwise to have elections or even debates on resolutions or future strategies and orientations at the online World Congress, business at the 9th EI World Congress was reduced and restricted to what is necessary to maintain the needed level of activity and keep Education International running in accordance with its governing rules until the in-person 10th Congress, which will then be organised in normal conditions.

Delegates debated, voted on and adopted an enabling resolution limiting the business of the 9th ordinary World Congress and extending the term of office of the Executive Board.

We will be reporting about the 9th EI World Congress on the EI website and on our social media platforms ( #EICongress; Twitter: @eduint; Facebook: Education International; Instagram: eduint). Stay tuned, spread the word and join the conversation!