A delegation made up of representatives from Education International (EI) and our affiliate in Brazil, the CNTE, was received on Monday 29 January by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The meeting took place on the second day of Brazil’s National Education Conference, held in Brasilia from 28 January to 30 January 2024.
Brazil is one of the countries where EI's Go Public! Fund Education campaign is making solid progress. The CNTE has organised many activities as part of the campaign, including the celebration of World Teachers’ Day on 5 October 2023, with seminars, talks, and street demonstrations highlighting the need for greater funding for public education.
The meeting was attended by EI President, Susan Hopgood, EI General Secretary, David Edwards, EI Vice President for Africa, Mugwena Maluleke, and the Regional Director of Education International Latin America (EILA), Combertty Rodriguez.
Also present, as part of the Brazilian delegation, were Fátima Silva, Vice President of EILA and General Secretary of the CNTE, and Heleno Araujo, President of the CNTE.
During the National Education Conference, President Lula highlighted the new vision his government has brought, wherein money for education is always an investment and not an expense. President Lula stressed that education is one of his government’s priorities, alongside health and culture. The President also said he would work with Education International and its member organisations to ensure that democracy and democratic values are strengthened, in order to counter the authoritarian regimes and forces gaining ground in many countries.
For the EI’s General Secretary, David Edwards, the meeting with Lula was very important: “We presented him with a picture of 2,000 education trade unionists holding ‘Lula Livre’ signs at our World Congress in 2019. Despite the attempts to cut down the flowers of democracy and dignity, they could not prevent the spring,” he said.
“President Lula is truly committed to education in Brazil and, on the global level, he is very interested in working together with international organisations,” added EI President Susan Hopgood.
During the exchange, Lula expressed his concern regarding high school dropout rates and the need for society and public authorities to address this problem.
The President also provided a summary of all the federal government’s public education policies, comparing them to the policies of other Latin American countries, and announced plans to launch further investment programmes in Brazil’s public education system in the coming days.
Source: Presidente Lula recebe comitiva da CNTE, FNE e IE no segundo dia da Conae 2024 (President Lula receives CNTE, FNE and IE delegation on the second day of Conae 2024)
Photos: Ricardo Stuckert