The Regional Congress on Education in Africa was held on 18-19-20 April 2012 in Rabat/ Morocco under the slogan “For Public, Free and Good Education For All”. It was organized by the Democratic Organization of Education (ODE), affiliated to the Democratic Organization of Labor (ODT) as an implementation of the recommendations of the WFTU 16th World Congress. Has participated in this regional Congress the WFTU affiliated Unions and friends from Africa and a large number of intellectuals, politicians and human rights activists.
A Congress that takes place in a period of political, economic, social circumstances characterized by the continuing onslaught of the wild neoliberal capitalist system, led by the financial circles and the centres of the international decision makers, as well as constantly authoritarian African allies regimes that contribute to the destruction and deconstruction plans to drain natural resources of this continent and touch the integrity of the unity of its peoples that lives in a state of social mobility translating its eager to freedom, liberty and to achieve their legitimate demands for democracy, dignity and social justice.
Considering that the situation of education in Africa is characterized by the fragility and the missing of the most basic elements to improve the public school in order to secure the basic roles in the social structure, and facing this deteriorating situation, we :
Express our serious concern over the serious dangers that threaten the school and education in Africa, including preventing it to fulfil its leadership role as pioneer in achieving social demands.
Denounce the imposition of educational template projects that represent the dictates of the international looting forces under glamorous names such as the quality, good governance and linking education to the market is a conspiracy to solve the Bigs’ new problems at the expense of the Smalls’ and the rich at the expense of the poor, than making the rich more richer and the poor more poorer.
Estimate that the educational process is a vision that summarizes the philosophy of the community in dressing the feature of the new humanity rooted in reality and open to the universe. A contradictory vision to the savage attack of neoliberalism that aborted local cultures, confiscated shared universal values and has transformed the nations to markets and the citizens to numbers and consumers.
Condemn the involvement of African countries and governments to pass the so-called education reform projects that seeks to confiscate the minds of our children after stealing the wealth of our countries in promoting an educational system dedicated to dependency rather than independence and establishing programs and methods that pave the way for more widespread consumption culture instead of settling culture, creativity and production.
Condemn the governments’ educational policies which aim to tie the educational family with legislative laws and procedures that impose its exclusion to play its pioneer role in leading the process of social change and forcibly coerce it to play the role of just passing the information.
These policies that operate according to a systematic scheme for the liquidation of its important role and depriving it from its basic fundamental rights, including reducing the chances of participation in the management of public affairs.
We strongly support the social movement requiring the end of the authoritarian regimes in the region and strongly reject the plans of neo-colonialism which began from Libya and crept into the sub-Saharan countries.
We declare our support for the struggles of the educational family and condemn the attempts by some governments to violate the right to strike.
In the face of these challenges that faces our struggling continent and aimed to deprive it from its natural right to progress, development and the achievement of the aspirations of its people to freedom, dignity and decent live, we demand the following :
1. Coordinate the efforts of nationalist and progressive forces for the defence of the public school and to face all projects of imperialism that seeks to destroy and liquidate it by turning it into profit companies based on the commercialisation of knowledge and the marketing of education.
2. Oblige the governments to ensure free and obliged education and guarantee its quality in its cognitive, moral and human rights values in order to ensure the rehabilitation of man to achieve the community’s renaissance.
3. Reconsidering the material, professional and moral of the educational family and keeping it away from the reality of marginalization in order to play its true role in the school to answer and solve social causes and problems.
4. Stop targeting trade union actions and restrictions on trade unionists which bloc their performance and their trade union duties. In this context, we demand the urgent need to accelerate the ratification of international conventions by the Governments to guarantee trade union rights and fundamental freedoms.
5. The development of forms of coordination between the trade union organizations on the African and global level to serve the globalization of the struggle, to stop the dominance of neo-liberal capitalist globalization that destroyed all human values and work to consolidate the values of tolerance, peace and coexistence among the peoples of the world.
6. Maintain the dignity of migrant workers and guarantee their rights in the immigration countries, especially the right to education.
7. Non-interference in the internal affairs of the poor countries and vulnerable peoples that suffer impoverishment, marginalization, wars and armed conflicts aimed to disrupt the stability, the unity and the targeting of national identity.
8. The involvement of all the free voices in exposing the neo-liberal hostile schemes to humanity and reveal its inability, since its financial crisis in 2008, to achieve its promises towards all mankind.
9. Face all forms of normalization with the Zionist Entity, provide all available means of support to the Palestinian Cause and settle an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as Capital.
In the face of these regional and international challenges in this difficult historical moment characterized by the attack of the gangs of capital to the national institutions, especially the school as a pioneer institution, we call upon the General Secretariat of the WFTU to start the preparation for a World Congress of the World Federation of Trade Unions Education (FISE) in order to discuss the major emerging issues and problems in the field of Education, regionally and internationally, and to provide alternatives, proposals and solutions to the development of the status of public education, which represents the real leverage for communities in order to achieve the advancement, the progress and the prosperity of the whole humanity.
The Regional Congress on Education in Africa
Rabat, April 20, 2012.