Call to ,Quality Free Public Education for All PDF Print E-mail
More than 400 delegates and observers from teachers’ unions in the Education International Africa region forum (EIRAF),   attended the official opening of the 8th  regional conference held at the Kenya International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi on the 4th of February 2015 with teachers calling for an urgent need to have quality free public education accessible to all.
Created: 04 February 2015
EIRAF’s 8th conference, held under the theme, Achieving Quality Education for Africa, Prospects and Challenges Beyond 2015, was officially opened by the President of Kenya Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta.
Addressing delegates, observers and visitors to the conference, President Kenyatta, said his government supported the work of teachers, adding that he believed that   education had to remain largely as a public good.
He urged teachers   from all over  the world, gathered in Nairobi, to sustain their commitment to attaining quality education for all.
Also addressing teachers form E.I‘s Africa region was  the General Secretary   Mr. Fred Van Leeuwen  who  noted that  E.I was  advocating for education to be a stand-alone goal.
“This would ensure that all governments support the goal to promoting quality education” he said,
In his presentation, the E.I General Secretary, noted that quality teachers   equaled quality education, but bemoaned their ever shrinking professional space in various countries. He noted that a survey carried out by  E.I   in  2014, revealed that in some cases teachers were subjected to limited contracts and  their salaries were not adequate yet the workload was constantly increasing.
In his concluding remarks, he re-emphasized and heeded all to take note that education was indeed a public good and a human right which all were entitled to.
Union representatives attending the conference were further urged to ensure that they remained alert to corporations that were increasingly invading teachers’ private space globally, by introducing the privatization of education.
The conference running from 2 to 6 February  2015, will continue as delegates will be expected to deliberate on other issues such as organizing and uniting for quality public education  in Africa in  post 2015, advocating for the national and regional investment in quality public education, strengthening and consolidating teachers, trade union unity, rights and obligations in the education sector.
The conclusions made during the EIRAF conference are expected to contribute to the formulation of policies for teachers’ unions in the African region for the next four years.
E.I Africa region organizes the EIRAC Conference at least once every four years. EIRAC conferences have been held in Nairobi in 1994, Harare in 1995, Yamoussoukro in 1998, Johannesburg in2001, Lome in 2004, Cairo in 2007 and Brazzaville in 2010.




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