Approved by the Plenary of the ILPS First International Assembly, May 25-27, 2001
Zutphen, The Netherlands
Rights of teachers, resesarchers and other education personnel and the struggle against ideas and research directed against the people ================== Imperialist globalization has resulted in untold suffering for billions of people throughout the world. The imposition of its neoliberal policies of privatization, deregulation, trade liberalization and austerity have reaped huge profits for huge multinationals banks and corporations while the world economy is racked by crises, the gap between rich and poor countries to grow, hundreds of millions are thrown into unemployment, and environmental destruction proceeds unabated. Imperialist globalization has intensified the oppression of women, racism, and discrimination against migrants.
Imperialist globalization has had a devastating impact on education all over the world. Drastic cuts in public spending for education have become the norm. Teachers, researchers, and other education personnel suffer deteriorating standards of living as salaries fail to keep up with rising costs. Large numbers are being laid off as governments close down schools and universities deemed inefficient. As education becomes the flashpoint for popular struggles, schools and universities are increasingly subjected to state repression.
Imperialist monopolies exercise an ever-tightening grip on education. The WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) has placed liberalization of the so-called education market and the privatization of education on the agenda of future negotiations, along with other basic social services. Teaching and research are to an unprecedented extent driven and defined by corporate interests. The commodification of knowledge produced in the universities is ensured through the vigorous enforcement of so-called intellectual property rights. In the Third World, the educational system is periodically “reformed” (by means of programs funded by the World Bank and other imperialist agencies) to enable it to provide the cheap and docile work force and the small number of technocrats and managers demanded by multinational corporations.
Imperialist control of education is a key element in imperialist domination of culture as a whole. The U.S. imperialism, in particular, makes full use of the means at its disposal--chiefly its huge monopolies in mass media-- to shape world public opinion according to its interests. The liberalization of markets worldwide entails the promotion of lifestyles of overconsumption.
Throughout the world today, education workers respond to imperialist globalization through solidarity and struggle to defend their rights and welfare and the peopleÃ¢ÂÂs right to education. In recent years, public school teachers, particularly in the Third World, have fought against diminution of their pay and removal of their benefits. Education workers have been at the forefront of struggles against public sector retrenchment in Britain and Greece; and students and teachers have valiantly resisted the privatization of higher education institutions in Mexico and Philippines.
We resolve to:-
Resist the imperialist globalization of education, particularly the privatization and commercialization of public education, the liberalization of education as a social service through the GATS and IMF and World Bank structural adjustment programs.
Bring down imperialism and realize a society in which quality education at all levels is a right guaranteed to all, and in which education serves the interests of the people, not those of big corporations or a privileged few.
In all our countries, and immediately, we resolve to:-
Fight for the basic rights as workers in education, which include full salaries and benefits, security of tenure, the right to professional growth, and academic freedom.
Organize teachers, researchers and other education personnel and launch popular campaigns and struggles against free market “reforms” especially those that pertain to education.
Demand an increase in public spending for education in particular and for social services in general most often sacrificed in favor of debt service and increased military spending, and other means of state violence and repression.
Establish and strengthen solidarity ties among the many education workers' organizations worldwide.
Encourage and support critical thinking and 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.
Produce an internet publication on the state of education, working conditions, the struggles, gains and lessons learned by teachers, researchers, and other education personnel in our respective countries.
Organize a conference of teachers and education personnel to discuss the impact of imperialist policies pertaining to education and to share accounts of struggles, gains and lessons learned.
Constitute ourselves as the ILPS Working Group on Teachers, Researchers and other Education Personnel with the following tasks:-
1) Propagation of this resolution
2) Coordination of agreed-upon activities
3) Invite potential ILPS members on the basis of the ILPS Charter and this resolution.