EI has sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Jansa, in support of its affiliate ESTUS and the teachers who will demonstrate on 15 March to defend a sound public education system.
The government of Slovenia has embarked on a series of reforms, without consulting the teachers union, to promote the privatisation of education.
The content of the letter is available, in English, below:
Mr. Janez Jansa
Gregorciceva 20, 25
Republic of SLOVENIA
Brussels, 13 March 2007
Dear Prime Minister,
Education International – the global union federation of teachers representing over 30 million members in 169 countries which has the Education and Science Trade Union of Slovenia (ESTUS) as one of its affiliates – is concerned about the plans of your Government to open the public education system to privatisation and by the lack of social dialogue in the preparation and implementation of education reforms.
Education International shares the concern of the ESTUS that a Government's priority is to invest in the public school system and not leave education to market forces. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in its article 26 that "Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages". State-funded education systems are the best guarantee for the fundamental right to education for all.
Education International is also concerned by the lack of social dialogue in the recent reform of the law on the composition of the so-called "Council of institution". Social dialogue is a cornerstone of democracy. Slovenia, as a member of the tripartite International Labour Organisation, is well aware that workers' organisations, including teacher unions, need to be consulted.
Ignoring the educational practitioners and teachers' representatives as social partners would not only be wrong, but also unwise! Social dialogue with teachers and their representative organisations on the contents and implementation of education reforms fosters good governance, social peace, economic progress and guarantees the future of Slovenia's children.
Education International has therefore expressed the support of its 30 million members to ESTUS and teachers who will demonstrate on 15 March to defend a sound public education system.
Education International urges your Government to commit to continue funding public education and to foster the negotiation with teachers' representatives.
Fred van Leeuwen
Mr. Milan Zver, Ministry of Education and Sport – Fax: +386 1 478 4329
Mr. Janez Drnovsek, Office of the President of the Republic – Fax: +386 1 478 13 57
Mr. France Cukjati, president of the National Assembly – Fax: +386-1-478-98-45