Hundreds of people have taken part in the culmination events that unraveled today in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Meetings with political leaders and with Latin American members of Education International (EI), demanding more investment in education have marked the culmination events of the Unite for Quality Education campaign in Buenos Aires.
EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen brought the key messages of the campaign to the very heart of Argentinian politics. In two meetings with the President’s chief cabinet minister and representatives of the national Congress, he has stated the world’s teachers’ support for more investment in education. This is an on-going debate in the country, with unions demanding a raise of education spending to 8% of GDP, and a new law on higher education to increase inclusiveness and equity.
In the afternoon, an overcrowded Teatro Gaumont in the heart of the city hosted members from 15 different countries joining their forces in a big celebration. Students, parents and teachers chanted together, listened to a youth orchestra, and heard van Leeuwen speak – in Spanish – about the achievements of trade unions in the region since the mid-90s, away from the Washington Consensus’ neoliberal policies towards quality public education for all. He strongly criticized the harmful action of vulture funds on public services in general and education in particular, and expressed his support to the militants of Latin American trade unions for their courage and long-dating struggle against oppression and for social justice.