Ei-iE

Democracy

Democracy is vital to healthy societies and critical to ensuring all human rights are respected. Essential as it is, democracy is not irreversible. In recent years, even established democracies have witnessed the rise of authoritarianism that threatens to tear the very fabric of our communities.

Defending and advancing democracy is central to the purpose of the trade union movement in education. The right to education, trade union rights and freedom of expression are critical enabling rights that help to leverage other rights. Together with our member organisations, we mobilise in support of democracy through trade union action and through education.

If we want democracy, we have to demand it, and we have to be able to educate children who will make and remake it.

Timothy Snyder

We believe that the strongest safeguard of democracy is quality education with trained and supported teachers who enjoy full professional autonomy. Some of the profession’s collective wisdom was brought together in “On Education and Democracy: 25 Lessons from the Teaching Profession”. Authored by our President, Susan Hopgood, and our General Secretary Emeritus, Fred van Leeuwen, the book serves as an invitation to all educators to take a stand in defence of democracy and to consider contributions that teachers, schools, universities, and representative organisations can make to solidify and progress democratic life.

Our work in this area

  1. Opinion 25 April 2020

    “Intellectual property in times of Coronavirus”, by Yamile Socolovsky.

    Yamile Socolovsky

    The measures taken by most governments to try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have been varied, and in some cases inadequate or too late. But almost everywhere in the world, cessation of face-to-face educational activities at all levels has been the rule.

    “Intellectual property in times of Coronavirus”, by Yamile Socolovsky.
  2. Opinion 23 April 2020

    “Optimism of the Will”, by Dennis Shirley.

    Dennis Shirley

    Covid-19 has changed everything. Like it or not, our world is just at the beginning of a historically unprecedented shift to new ways of being, thinking, and doing. The international educational professional will need to respond with its full ingenuity and expertise to this unprecedented challenge.

    “Optimism of the Will”, by Dennis Shirley.
  3. Opinion 16 April 2020

    "Teachers rising to the challenge of a global pandemic", by Steffen Handal.

    Steffen Handal

    In Norway, schools and kindergartens have been closed since the middle of March. Only children whose parents have a socio-critical profession have been attending. The Government has decided that early childhood institutions will open April 20th and grade 1 - 4 one week later.

    "Teachers rising to the challenge of a global pandemic", by Steffen Handal.
  4. News 16 December 2019

    Mexico: Van Leeuwen-Hopgood book champions fight for democracy

    One of the highlights of this year’s International Book Fair (FIL) of Guadalajara, Mexico was the presentation of a book co-authored by Fred van Leeuwen, Education International (EI) General Secretary Emeritus, and Susan Hopgood, EI President.

    Mexico: Van Leeuwen-Hopgood book champions fight for democracy
  5. Opinion 9 December 2019

    “Philippines: On Persecuting Teachers and Weaponizing Education”, by Raymond D. Basilio.

    Raymond D. Basilio

    Teachers and education in the Philippines are under siege. The Duterte government’s worsening attacks on all forms of dissent, disguised as a ‘whole-of-nation approach’ purportedly to end local communist insurgency, is taking its toll on the sector that is universally mandated to espouse and uphold social justice, human rights and...

    “Philippines: On Persecuting Teachers and Weaponizing Education”, by Raymond D. Basilio.
  6. News 22 November 2019

    Bolivia: global education union leaders firmly condemn the coup d’état

    Education International’s Executive Board has condemned the situation in Bolivia, stating that it “firmly and unanimously condemns on behalf of its 32 million members the coup d'état that took place last 11 November”.

    Bolivia: global education union leaders firmly condemn the coup d’état
  7. News 22 November 2019

    Chile: educators demand an end to the violence

    During its 55th meeting in Brussels on November 19-21, the Executive Board of Education International (EI) adopted a resolution condemning the violence against peaceful protestors in Chile and demanding respect for students, teachers and civil society.

    Chile: educators demand an end to the violence
  8. Opinion 30 October 2019

    “Teachers – Being in Control or Being Controlled?”, by Jim Baker.

    Jim Baker

    The status and role of professional teachers are affected by global efforts to make schools reason and operate like private companies even in some schools systems that may appear untouched by market reform fervour. A publication released last month on the profession addresses, in different contexts, the impact of that...

    “Teachers – Being in Control or Being Controlled?”, by Jim Baker.
  9. News 24 October 2019

    Global Media and Information Literacy Week: education nurtures informed, engaged and empowered citizens

    In the era of fake news, media literacy is essential for democracies the world over. Educators play a crucial role in helping their students become responsible and discerning citizens who can navigate the increasingly complex media landscape and make informed decisions.

    Global Media and Information Literacy Week: education nurtures informed, engaged and empowered citizens
  10. Opinion 22 October 2019

    “Education International. Eighth World Congress”, by John Bangs.

    John Bangs

    The online magazine ‘Education Journal’ recently published in its edition 385 a report of Education International’s eighth World Congress in Bangkok by EI Senior Consultant, John Bangs. Education Journal has agreed to its publication for Worlds of Education. It has been slightly edited for EI’s global audience.

    “Education International. Eighth World Congress”, by John Bangs.
  11. Opinion 18 October 2019

    “Education – Changing the World”, by David Edwards

    David Edwards

    The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE) devoted the most recent edition of its magazine, “Perspectives” to education and democracy. It covers the challenges to democracy in Canada, North America and the world. It also reports on education initiatives that have been developed in Canada to support and re-enforce democratic values and...

    “Education – Changing the World”, by David Edwards