ILPS Chairperson Prof. Jose Maria Sison introduces the International League of Peoples' Struggle
We, participants of the Workshop on ILPS Concern No. 11 “Rights of Teachers, Researchers and Other Education Personnel and the struggle Against Ideas and Research Directed against the People,” stand with the broad masses all over the world in exposing and opposing imperialism and all reaction.
Since the First International Assembly of the International League of People’s Struggles in 2001, imperialist powers led by the United States, have further wrought havoc on the people’s right to education and social services and have intensified repression against opposition to neo-liberal programs in education
The global capitalist system is structured by the hierarchic relations of nation-states currently dominated by the US imperialist state. As as a mode of crisis management, neoliberalism has been controlled and operated mainly by the US-led ruling elites in imperialist nations and their allied elites in the neocolonies through their hold on key social institutions.
While labor production remains the principal site for capitalist exploitation, educational apparatus serves as the most potent ideological apparatus for the reproduction of neoliberal policies and ethos. It has become one of the principal contested sites where various social forces aiming at solving the problem of overproduction and providing legitimacy to the crisis-ridden global finance capitalism.
The new mode of structural adjustment program (SAP) resurrects the much maligned active state intervention only to enable the market to recover and create an environment in which monopoly capitalists can extract more surpluses and solve the crisis of overproduction through wars of aggression.
Private-Public Partnership take on the form of outsourcing of educational services, outsourcing of non-educational support services, research partnership of public universities and industries, and promoting commercialization of public research. PPPs also take the form of the government subsidizing private schools through the system of vouchers.
So while early SAP dictated by the IMF/WB encouraged total state abandonment of education, the recent phase of neoliberal capitalism in the face of pervasive crisis has accelerated the state’s role in promoting the reign of the free market.
All over the world, the need for teachers is increasing, particularly in developing countries. Based on new UNESCO Institute for Statistics projections, 99 countries will need at least 1.9 million more teachers by 2015. More than one-half of them are needed in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this, however, more and more teachers are facing unemployment in their countries.
Hundreds of newly qualified teachers in Ireland are without regular work. School opens in September and there are only 700 job openings in primary schools.
According to reports from Canada, many Canadians with degrees in education are forced to find work abroad because they cannot find work at home. Universities in Canada are training teachers with education and English degrees to work in English-as-a-second-language (ESL) schools in Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Furthermore, many Canadian university administrations support Israel’s Zionist policy and Canadian mining firms abroad wreaking havoc on the environment, on ancestral domains of indigenous peoples.
In the United States, charter schools, a particular form of public private partnership in education is proliferating as public schools are gradually being phased out. Attacks on teachers and staff unions and their right to collective bargaining are intensifying. Retrenchment of thousands of teachers in New York is being implemented in spite of a large budget surplus of the state.
In Germany, unions and employers failed to reach an agreement for some 600,000 workers across the nation. Temporary teachers are getting the short end of the stick as they receive less than their regular counterparts. In negotiations, teachers unions call for salary increases of at least five percent and for union wage for teachers employed on a temporary capacity.
In England, many teachers and other public sector workers who serve some of the most vulnerable people (people with disabilities, alcohol problems, asylum seekers and youth with drug addiction problems) have been laid off. Teachers unions, in the meantime, are gearing for strikes against redundancies, the removal of pension rights and a pay freeze which will slash 12 percent of salaries of working teachers, and 20 percent from pensions of retired teachers.
In South Korea, a national security law threatens the open formation of anti-imperialist and militant teacher’s organizations and corruption pervades educational institutions.
In Indonesia, contractualization of teachers is rampant and those hired received salaries as low as US$50 a month.
In the Philippines, the Department of Education has made contractualization and hiring of volunteer teachers as a policy solution to the diminishing state’s subsidy to education. Public universities and colleges have had their budgets slashed and are compelled and encouraged by the state to compensate for the shortfall through higher tuition and other student fees, increased contractualization of teaching and support staff, and dependence on corporate investments. Furthermore, heightened militarization of schools and universities take on various forms from actual occupation by soldiers of school campuses, to soldiers enrolling as students to do intelligence work and to military conducted seminars in schools red-tagging teachers’, students’ and other progressive organizations.
By tailoring the educational curriculum to the imperative of neoliberal ideology, new courses and departments have been created and developed with the sole purpose of catering to market demands. Thereby reducing education to a private good devoid of any public content.
With the academe subjected to commodified social relations, educational workers are predisposed to fragmentary thinking exemplified in the popularity of postmodernism. Detached from the basic sectors of society academic workers are seduced into reactionary politics that rejects totality, does away with grand narrative, questioning the centrality of class and economy, the reduction of politics to discourse, and the wanton randomization of history.
The contradictions of capitalism bread resistance from the exploited classes of society. Teachers and other education personnel globally have stood arm-in-arm with the students, workers, farmers, other professionals and individuals in asserting that education is a right and in defending the rights and welfare of education workers and the people. While mainstream education is used to promote, defend and expand dominant/imperialist interest, progressive organizations and unions of education personnel, together with militant student organizations have continued to assert, inside and outside the classrooms and in theory and in practice the liberating role of education that is in the service of the marginalized and the oppressed.
Last April, hundreds of teachers in California and New York held protests demanding that state officials extend tax hikes to make up budget cuts against public education. The teachers said that higher levels of funding for public schools are necessary.
In Michigan, teachers and their supporters are also up against budget cuts which would translate in $300 fewer provisions for every student in the state.
In Los Angeles, teachers unions are against privatization. In Wisconsin, Indianapolis and Washington State, teachers are fighting tooth and nail to defend their collective bargaining rights even as they demand higher state subsidies for public education.
In April, massive protests led by teachers and other state workers were held all over Easter Germany. Demonstrators called for better working conditions and improved job contracts for new and trainee teachers.
In the Philippines, the educational sector has forged solidarity among its ranks by decisively participating in the parliamentary struggle that will push for the rights and welfare of academic workers and students nationwide. ACT Teachers Partylist won a seat in Congress in the last 2010 elections and has since its founding in 2009 worked with teachers, education support staff and the , basic sectors (comprising of workers and peasants) to advance the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the people.
Teachers and other education worker’s organizations forge solidarity with anti-imperialist youth, farmers, workers, women organizations to strengthen their own anti-imperialist and democratic objectives. In turn, the support of the education workers to the struggles of the basic sectors provide much needed broadening of public support for their demands, such as land reform and demand higher wages.
The attack on education can only be defeated if education workers come together as anti-imperialist force to address the root cause of the education crisis. Addressing the root cause of the education crisis compels us to link up with the broader national and global alliance against imperialism. Only then can we succeed in our vision of making education serve the world’s peoples!
It is in this context of the worsening global crisis brought about by imperialism, the intensifying attack on education as a right and as a public service on the one hand and the resurgence of collective actions of education workers and students around the world on the other that Workshop on Concern 11 reaffirms our commitment to advancing education workers rights and welfare and struggle against imperialism and puts forward our plans for the next three years.
.We hereby reaffirm our commitment to:
Fight for the basic rights as workers in education (in their home countries or as migrant education workers), which include full salaries and benefits, security of tenure, the right to professional growth, and academic freedom.
Organize teachers, researchers and other education personnel in their home country or abroad and launch popular campaigns and struggles against imperialist policies, particularly those that pertain to education.
Demand an increase in access to education, to public spending for education in particular and for social services in general which is most often sacrificed in favor of debt servicing and military spending. Oppose corporate control and education. Put an end to state violence and repression.
Establish and strengthen solidarity ties among the many education workers' organizations worldwide based on a common anti-imperialist stand.
Encourage and support pro-people critical thinking, action-based learning and anti-imperialist activism among our students at all levels.
Undertake simultaneous activities on October 5, World Teachers Day and ensure the participation of teachers, researchers, and other education personnel in anti-imperialist activities in our respective countries on May Day and March 8, International Women's Day.
Support the anti-imperialist struggles of peasants, workers, migrants, women, youth, indigenous peoples and other oppressed sectors.
To advance the above commitment, we agree to work towards realizing the following activities in the coming three years:
Publish an on-line anti-imperialist journal for academics and other education workers (Working Group: Peter Chua-US, Barbara Waldern-South Korea, Jaz Lumang –Philippines, Ramon Guillermo and Gerry Lanuza, both UP professors, also agreed to be part of the working group)
Hold a second anti-imperialist international conference of teachers, researchers and other education personnel on themes related to education, imperialism and resistance that are based on concrete experience of resistance and struggles will be held sometime in July or August 2013. As much as possible participants to the conference should be activists in the education sector organizations and unions. ( Working Group: group, Jaz Lumang-Ibon Philippines, Pearl Bunda-ACT , L. Muh. Hasan Harry Sandy Ame of Front Mahasiswa Nasional of Indonesia and ,Karlo Manlupig-Bayan-Mindanao))
Set up the International Education Personnel Alliance (IEPA), an anti-imperialist alliance of teachers, researchers and support staff. The minimum target is to lay down the requirements for setting this up. The maximum target is the actual convening of the IEPA
Set up a system of sharing of anti-imperialist teaching materials and resources among the members.
Put up a website for ILPS Concern 11 and link it to the website of ILPS. The initial site will be a blog and depending on funding could become a full-fledged website. (Neil Legaspi of ACT)
Link members of the workshop trough an egroup, the “eir” group created after the 2009 Education, Imperialism and Resistance conference in Taiwan. (Barbara Waldern of TEAKor)
Note: Names in parentheses are persons who volunteered to be responsible for working on the particular activity.
Finally, the workshop on Concern 11 recommends that the ILPS Commission on Concern 11 be created with the following member organizations and individuals from member organizations:
Organizations: Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines and TEAKOR-South Korea who have the organizational commitment to be part of the commission.
Individuals subject to securing consent from their organizations: Jossel Ebesate of the Alliance of Health Workers, Jaz Lumang of IBON Foundation, L. Muh. Hasan Harry Sandy Ame of Front Mahasiswa Nasional of Indonesia and Peter Chua of Filipuno Educators Organizing Group of the United States.
Further, the workshop on Concern 11 recommends that the Alliance of Concerned Teachers be designated as the Secretariat of the Commission on Concern 11 and Dr. Judy Taguiwalo as the Coordinator/Chair of the Commission.
Participants of Wokshop on Concern No.11
Cristina Manalo (ACT-Philippines), Barbara Waldern (TEA-KOR), Jing Dolot (BAYAN-Bicol), Mely Feria (MIGRANTE-New Zealand), Antonio L. Tinio (ACT TEACHERS Partylist, Philippines), Gerry Lanuza (Professor, University of the Philippines), Sarah Raymundo (ACT-Philippines), Peter Chua (WAFCON-USA), Bomen Guillermo (ACT-Philippines), Felex Parinas (All UP Workers Union, Philippines), Maybellyn A Zepeda (MGBEA-OURAGE, Philippines), Fabian G. Hallig (ACT-Central Luzon, Philippines), Joy Martinez (ACT-Philippines), France Castro (ACT-Philippines), Perla Bunda (ACT-Philippines), Karlos Manlupig (BAYAN-SMR, Philippines), Theresa Jaranilla (ANAKBAYAN-Los Angeles, USA), Rusty Fabunan (Philippine Forum-New York, USA), Valerie Francisco (Gabriela-USA), Martin Cook (BASIC News-Canada), Jaz Lumang (IBON Foundation, Philippines), Raya Martin (GABRIELA-Youth, Philippines), Muh Hasan Harry Sandy Ame (Front Mahasiswa Nasional, Indonesia), Gwenola Ricordea (France), Judy M. Taguiwalo (ACT-Philippines), Gillian Moise (BLACK AGENDA REPORT, USA), Neil G. Legaspi, (ACT-Philippines)
The Voting Delegates who attended the Workshop on Concern 11:
Dr.Judy Taguiwalo of Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines
Barbara Waldern of TEA-KOR
Ms.Jazz Lumang of IBON Foundation-Philippines
Dr.Maybellyn Cepeda – MGBA-COURAGE
Ms.Mely Feria – MIGRANTE-NZ
Mr.Josel Ebisante- Alliance of Health Workers (AHW)
Mr.Rusty Falouran – Philippine Forum, New York
Ms.Theresa Jaranilla – ANAKBAYAN-Los Angeles
Military occupation of schools most especially in the countrysides
Deployment of police and military intelligence agents on campuses to spy on and intimidate progressive teachers, employees and students organization/unions and individuals.
Organizing of fora, symposia, workshops and conferences to maliciously discourage the academic community to participate in progressive activities and organizations
Persistent and aggressive red-baiting of progressive teachers, employees and students organization/unions and individuals
Direct attacks on progressive teachers and students which includes enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.
Teachers and other education personnel are not exempt from dire consequences of traffick –in-persons across the globe. After paying a large sum of money for a potential job, teachers also end up as victims of this crime. Entering a country as tourists, some teachers end up as vicitms of human trafficking. The potential jobs are non-existent such that they end-up working as domestic helpers and other peripheral jobs to support themselves.
We enjoin the ILPS to condemn this form of human rights violations among teachers and education personnel.
Around the globe , teachers and other education personnel who migrate to New Zealand and other parts of the world are required to pass the examinations administered by the host countries. If they don’t pass the examination, they must re-enroll in the host country. Non-passing the examination would mean that these nurses and teachers will end up as caregivers and teacher-aides eventually. Their actual experiences and skills are not given credit at all.
In extreme cases, migrant professionas like teachers who did not pass the state examinations administered by host counries are forced to marry the locals to be able to secure the necessary documents to be able to stay and work in host countries.
We enjoin the ILPS, to condemn this form of human rights violations of non-recognition of the professional status of teachers and other professionals of their respective host countries.
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