Speech of Chrysi Lampoudi, Vice President of the FISE
We represent here today the FISE which was founded in 1946 and which from then until now is a member of the WFTU. At the same time we are a permanent member of UNESCO in Paris, and we actively participate in all the interesting international Forums that have to do with Education and teachers. We believe that from 1946 until today our organization has dealt with all the major subjects concerning education. Through the struggle of the workers of the past century, we have achieved great progress and many of the problems of teachers were resolved. Illiteracy was contained, and in several countries first level education became mandatory.
Unfortunately in the last decade governments around the world are trying to get back everything with achieved through our struggle. The deep economic crisis of capitalism is being used by the governments as an excuse to dismantle free and public education, to lower the quality of education and take back the rights of teachers and professors.
In many countries we have in progress what we call an “education reform” . In reality it should be called “anti-educational reform” because its real target is to destroy what we have built for decades.
– The central goal of capitalists and monopolies is the privatization of education.
– The quality of education is on a constant drop and the historical truth is being twisted
– Parents and students are being forced to pay for their education, something that the State should be obliged to do.
Teachers are being prosecuted under the slogan of the assessment and with the excuse of the capitalist crisis their wages are reduced. At the same time, the number of teachers is decreasing at all levels.
Against this anti-educational policy ,important trade union struggles have taken place. Teachers in Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Chicago, Canada, Greece, France, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Italy , In India, in Algeria, and in many other countries and in every corner of the world,they have organized major strikes. The militant attitude of many teachers’ unions was brutally hit by several governments.
Today, here we have a memorandum of Teachers from Mexico that show the character of the attack against teachers who are fighting for decent work. The federal government is threatening to dismiss thousands of teachers because they do not accept to become slaves in the 21st century.
We mention the example of Mexico because we think it is characteristic and it covers all teachers in all continents. We also ask this multi-party delegation of ILO, along with trade union representatives, of all international trade unions, to visit Mexico soon and demand that the Federal Government immediately stop threats and Terrorism at the expense of teachers and at the expense of Specific educational institutions as it does against the historic University of Mitschakan.
ILO should in practice defend decent work and teachers. Dignity means that it is the right of every child to have public free education, that each teacher has the right to be respected for his/her job, to have proper, modern working conditions and decent wages. We, as FISE, commit ourselves to consistently continue with the World Trade Union Federation and all the trade unions to be on the side of teachers in every corner of the globe. Because the right to education must belong to everyone.