published 5 October 2017 updated 13 October 2017



On 4 July, in Sydney, the Australian Education Union (AEU), released the report, “ Commercialisation  in Public Schools - An Australian case study”. Exploring edu-businesses, including Pearson, and their role in commercialising education and influence over education policy, the report generated significant media attention including a page one lead news story and opinion piece, national television and radio coverage.

EI Post-Haiyan (Yolanda) Rehabilitation Initiative- JNCC mid-term evaluation meeting in the Philippines

The EI Post-Haiyan (Yolanda) Rehabilitation Initiative - Joint National Crisis Committee (JNCC) mid-term evaluation meeting was held from 20-21 July in Mandaluyong City. The JNCC comprises EI’s four affiliates in the Philippines and the meetinghighlighted the initiative’s successes during the first semester of 2017, despite meagre financial resources.

The basic strategy of continuing to build skills and knowledge around psycho-social first aid, disaster management, mental health and psychological support (including income-generating initiatives for the victims and their families) was approved by the JNCC. This project will continue to be used as a tool to organise and recruit teachers.

The committee also explored strategies for the period after funding ceases in 2017.

Rey Dolot attended the event, representing EI.

PGRI-EI Consortium Project - Pilot district training in Indonesia

From 27-29 July in West Kalimantan and from 1-4 August in Medan, activities in the pilot districts focused on building capacity amongst Persatuan Guru Republik Indonesia(PGRI) grassroots leaders. Special emphasis was placed on the use of ICT tools for membership registration, databases and finance, leadership and gender equality.

The PGRI supplied both human resources and a financial contribution to the events, important in terms of the sustainability of the project.

Rey Dolot represented EI at the event.

PGRI-EI Consortium Project- Mid-term evaluation meeting in Indonesia

A mid-term evaluation of the PGRI-EI Consortium Projectwas conducted at a meeting, from 22-24 August in Jakarta, and reviewed the project’s activities in the first semester of 2017. It was attended by members of the EI regional office and PGRI leaders, together with representatives from the development cooperation partners, the AEU, Lärarförbundet of Sweden and Utdanningsforbundet of Norway.

The participants analysed the progress/developments of the five pilot districts whose leaders were trained by the lead organisers under the joint supervision of PGRI’s Executive Board and EI. Significant progress was achieved in all the core areas: increasing pilot district leaders’ capacity; membership recruitment, registration and issuing of membership cards; payment of union dues and dues distribution to all levels of PGRI; women’s involvement in the organisational leadership, workshop, training, campaign, etc.; external campaigns/activities based on the mapping of local education issues; and training modules.

Strategies were devised to ensure PGRI’s sustainability beyond the project’s funding.

The EI Chief Regional Coordinator, Shashi Bala Singh, and Rey Dolot attended the event.

PGRI-EI Consortium Project - Teachers’ Learning Circle meeting in Indonesia

The framework, principles, and strategies for the PGRI-EI Consortium ProjectTeachers’ Learning Circle (TLC) were explored at a meeting held from 25-26 August in Jakarta.

The TLC is envisioned as the main tool in capacity building at PGRI branch level, as well as being a platform where members can share and find solutions to professional issues and terms and conditions of work. The aim of the TLC is to cultivate/strengthen PGRI grassroots members’ sense of belonging, ownership and loyalty.

The meeting was attended by members of the EI regional office and top leaders of PGRI, together with representatives of the five identified pilot areas.

Rey Dolot represented EI at the event.

3rd Asia Pacific Meeting on Education 2030 in Thailand

The 3rd Asia-Pacific Meeting on Education 2030 (APMED III) was held on 4-7 July in Bangkok. Organised by UNESCO Bangkok, UNICEF and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, the meeting focused on SDG target 4.7 and the coordination of SDG 4 on Education.

The outcomes included a set of “Regional Recommendations for Action on SDG 4.7”, concrete steps to bridge the gap between policy and practice in terms of mainstreaming this critical goal in the region’s education system. EI representatives highlighted the importance of teachers and teacher unions’ participation in the policy-making, implementation, review and monitoring processes. The need for teachers’ capacity building in promoting human rights, peace, global citizenship and sustainable development through education was also emphasised, as well as integrating SDG 4.7 in curriculum, pedagogy and teacher training.

The APMED III was attended by over 200 participants from education ministries, international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), universities/research institutes and civil society organisations.

The EI Chief Regional Coordinator, Shashi Bala Singh, and Anand Singh participated in the event.

Meeting of Thematic Working Group on Education 2030 in Thailand

On 8 July, the Thematic Working Group on Education 2030, met in Bangkok to review APMED III and its outcomes. It also discussed global progress towards SDG implementation and the Global Education Monitoring Report 2017.

Anand Singh expressed EI’s concerns at the lack of consultation by governments with teachers’ around SDG 4. He also highlighted the limited participation opportunities available to teachers’ organisations at regional events like APMED, reiterating that the willing collaboration by teachers and their unions is useful for the implementation/policy-making processes.

Pacific Regional NGOs’ Alliance meeting in Fiji

On 26 July, the Pacific Regional NGOs (PRNGO) Alliance met in Suva to receive updates on regional initiatives relevant to the Alliance.

The Council of Pacific Education (COPE) Secretary General, Govind Singh, represented EI at the event.

Public Forum against privatisation and commercialisation of education in India

As part of EI’s Global Response campaign against the commercialisation of education in India, a public forum organised by EI’s member organisations, i.e. the All India Primary Teachers’ Federation, the All India Secondary Teachers’ Federation and the All India Federation of Teachers’ Organisations, was held on 28 July in Hyderabad.

Attended by more than 300 teachers, academics, parents and civil society organisations’ representatives, the forum expressed teacher unions’ strong opposition to the handing over of 4,000 schools to BIA by the Andhra Pradesh government. They also protested against the closure of schools by the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments, an action that undermines the rights of poor and unprivileged children to quality education.

A statement was later presented to the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, demanding the immediate withdrawal of the Memorandum of Understanding with BIA. The statement also appealed to both governments to fully implement the national Right to Education Act, ensure free and compulsory quality education for all, and adequately fund education to strengthen government schools and stop the tide of the privatisation and commercialisation of education.

The EI Chief Regional Coordinator, Shashi Bala Singh, and Anand Singh participated in the event.

EI’s call to action in the Philippines

Teacher unions from all regions have condemned the continuing attacks against Lumad schools, teachers, students and communities on Mindanao island, a show of solidarity which comes after a call to action from EI.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), one of EI’s national affiliates, has reported attacks against 68 different schools in Mindanao by military and paramilitary forces in the past year. Under the implementation of martial law, state-sponsored attacks on Lumad communities and territories have increased, threatening the operations of Lumad schools through intimidation, arbitrary arrests, killings, occupation and destruction of school properties, and displacement. At least three Lumad education activists were killed in 2017. On 24 July, the Philippines’ President, Rodrigo Duterte, threatened to bomb Lumad schools in Mindanao that “teach children to rebel against the government”.

On 31 July, UN experts urged the Government of the Philippines “to reverse spiralling rights violations” in the country. Nevertheless, Lumad students and teachers are standing up for their right to indigenous education, and protest actions are organised in many parts of the country.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Non-State Actor seminar in Fiji

On 10 August, COPE Secretary General Govind Singh attended the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Non-State Actor (NSA) seminar held in Suva. The programme’s activities were focused around creating spaces for dialogue and strengthening NSA capacity to participate effectively in regional policy-making processes and policy implementation.

1st COPE/EI regional consultation workshop on sustainable development goals in Fiji

The first COPE/EI regional consultation workshop on SDGs 4, 5 and 8 was held from 6-8 September in Nadi.

The event achieved a common understanding among teacher union leaders about these particular SDGs, and developed a roadmap and union action plan to reach quality education and goals set for 2030.

The COPE Secretary General, Govind Singh, and Anand Singh represented EI.

Conferences of the Fiji Principals’ Association and the Fiji Head Teachers’ Association

In September, COPE Secretary General Govind Singh attended two conferences in Fiji.

On 13 September, the Fiji Principals’ Association met in Suva under the theme of “Transforming Leaders for a Greener Fiji”.

And, on 14 September, the Fiji Head Teachers’ Association’s conference in Nausori focused on “Leadership for 21st Century Learner”.

Both themes emerged from SDGs 7 and 15 and are linked to SDG 4.