“EDUCATION IS A HUMAN RIGHT” Educators call upon governments to honour commitments to free, quality, public education for all

April 12, 2007
Ottawa – The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) is adding the voice of teachers to the chorus of appeals around the world during Global Action Week, April 23-29, when hundreds of thousands of concerned parents, students, activists and teachers will demand that governments and international agencies live up to their promise of ensuring that all children receive the quality education to which they are fundamentally entitled. Currently, over 80 million children do not have access to education.

In April 2000 at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, 191 governments committed to provide Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015. Canada, a signatory to the agreement, still falls far short of the 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) target that it committed to Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), which includes education aid.

“Imagine what a different world we would live in if all children could complete school; if the millions of children currently left waiting at school gates were taught and inspired by teachers that fed their dreams and nurtured their intelligence. We could give young people this chance”, says CTF President Winston Carter, “the chance to take part in democracy, to protect their family from illness, to communicate in times of conflict, to be future citizens of the world. It’s time for Canada to step up to the plate and deliver on the promise it made in Dakar.”

For over 80 years, CTF has advocated for quality, publicly-funded education in Canada and throughout the world.

“Education is an undeniable and inherent right of all human beings, but it is also a means to an end: it provides children and adults with knowledge and skills to live in a dignified manner and to contribute to their societies”, says Carter. “We are at the halfway point for the Education for All goals, the goals have not been met, and time is running out. We want to know what the current government plans to do to meet Canada’s education aid target.”

CTF Board Members and teacher leaders will be meeting with MPs on April 16 & 17 to discuss Education for All aid targets and other issues related to Canada’s international and national commitments to education.

CTF speaks for 220,000 teachers in Canada as their national voice on education and related social issues. CTF membership includes Member Organizations in every province and territory in Canada. CTF is also a member of the international body of teachers, Education International.

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Comments:

Winston Carter, CTF President

Background:

Barbara MacDonald Moore, Director of International Programs, 613-232-1505, ext. 123

Contact:

Linda Hiles, Interim Director of Communications, 613-232-1505, ext. 130