Education International’s Executive Board: World Congress, 30 years of mobilising, artificial intelligence in education, addressing the global teacher shortage

published 17 July 2023 updated 20 March 2024

The Education International Executive Board met online on July 6 and July 14. EI’s 9th World Congress held online on July 11 to 13, as well as the organisation’s strategy on the use of artificial intelligence in education, and the launch of the UN High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession dominated the agenda of the two Board meetings. The Executive Board also attended a special session dedicated to the organisation’s 30th anniversary.

Education International’s 9th World Congress

The Executive Board met on July 6, in the run up to the 9th World Congress, in order to finalise preparations for EI’s first ever online Congress. The 9th World Congress addressed matters of governance, while resolutions on policies will be discussed in 2024, at the 10th EI World Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Board members reviewed the Congress agenda and the progress report giving member organisations an overview of the work EI has undertaken since the previous World Congress in Bangkok in 2019.

Board members also received reports on the three solidarity missions that EI has undertaken over the past six months to Türkiye, Eswatini and Ukraine. David Edwards, EI General Secretary, stressed the importance of being on the ground with members, a thought echoed by the Board Members who participated in the solidarity missions.

The 9th World Congress was also discussed at the Executive Board meeting on July 14. Taking place after the World Congress, the meeting gave Board members the opportunity to reflect on a successful Congress and look ahead to the 10th World Congress to be held in Argentina in July 2024.

Artificial intelligence in education: opportunities and pitfalls

During their meeting on July 6, Executive Board members discussed a new EI project looking into the use of artificial intelligence in education and aiming to map out the opportunities new technological developments bring, as well as the risks they may pose.

Board members noted the rapid progress in terms of AI tools and stressed the need for Education International and its member organisations to understand all the implications of these new tools and develop relevant policies.

High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession to begin work to address global teacher shortage

The EI Executive Board also discussed the launch of the High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession, a United Nations initiative aiming to produce a set of recommendations to address the global teacher shortage of nearly 70 million teachers.

The Board welcomed the strong presence of education unions on the High-Level Panel, with EI President Susan Hopgood representing the teaching profession.

The EI Executive Board also discussed the Panel’s upcoming meetings and the best ways to ensure that the realities and voices of teachers everywhere inform the work of the Panel in order to produce real change for educators and students around the world.

30 years of Education International

The Executive Board meeting on July 14 featured a special session celebrating the 30th anniversary of Education International. Executive Board members had the opportunity to listen to a conversation between two EI founding figures - Fred van Leeuwen, EI’s General Secretary Emeritus, and Bob Harris, EI co-founder. The conversation was moderated by EI’s President Susan Hopgood and provided a wealth of insight into the origins of the organisation, its core principles and achievements, and the way forward.

Read Fred van Leeuwen’s reflections on EI’s 30th anniversary here.

EI President Susan Hopgood also shared her thoughts on the role of women in their unions and in Education International in the past three decades. Read her article here.