Hands up for education! : EI strategy for post crisis recovery
Since the financial crisis broke out in 2008, EI has been promoting education and training as a strategy for economic growth through our campaign Hands Up for Education. We work together with our members, other Global Unions and civil society organisations to bring our position to world leaders. Slowly, governments are starting to take our message seriously although we have to remain persistent and vigilant so that political rhetoric will translate into meaningful decisions. In the coming months, EI will follow its strategy along two main lines.
The Global Campaign for Education
Firstly, as you will find on pages 2–3 of this magazine, EI runs initiatives such as Global Action Week and the 1GOAL campaign during the Football World Cup with civil society organisations. These campaigns raise awareness about the problems of industralising countries in reaching the goals of Education For All.
EI wants to ensure that the financial crisis will not lead us to fail in our promises to an entire generation of children. In the coming months, EI members will push even harder for a strong declaration at the Millennium Development Goals Summit, due to take place in New York in September. The summit, called by the United Nations’ Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, will be a unique opportunity to declare a unified and integrated vision for the future of development.
Targeting World Leaders at the G20
On 21 April, G20 labour and employment ministers decided to make education and training a prominent issue on their agenda for post-crisis recovery. The meeting, which was attended by trade union leaders, asked the G20 to adopt a training strategy. EI members now need to make use of this momentum to press for change at upcoming meetings. The G20 leaders will meet in Canada during June and then in South Korea in November. EI is co-operating with other Global Unions to publish strong statements and apply pressure on governments to act. Moreover, EI supports the mandate given by the High Level Group on Education For All to the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bukova, to take part in the discussions at the G20 level, to ensure that education will feature prominently on the agenda. We have waited for a long time so by the time of the meeting in South Korea in November, we expect to see results.
Upcoming events in relation to the crisis June(during the Football World Cup) – Meeting on Education For All in South Africa. 25-27 June- G20 meeting in Muskoka, Canada. 20-22 September– Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York, USA. 11-12 November– G20 meeting in Seoul, South-Korea.
More information about our Hands Up for Education campaign can be found at: www.ei-ie.org/handsup.
By Monique Fouilhoux.
This article was published in Worlds of Education, Issue 34, June 2010.