The opening ceremony of the world summit of the World Federation of Teachers’ Unions (FISE) was held yesterday (15th). The summit for 2011 was held under the theme ‘Society’s responsibility for Education’ at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute yesterday and today (16th). The JVP Leader Somsawansa Amarasinghe was the chief guest.
The summit organized by the Ceylon Teacher Services Union was attended by 54 representatives of teachers’ unions. Addressing the summit the JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said thirst for knowledge existed from very ancient times and despite education is recognized as a right today, there are 796 million who are illiterate he pointed out. He said 2/3rd of this number is women and 69 million children in the world do not get preliminary education.
Presenting a 15 year programme in the year 2000, the international community came to an agreement that everyone would be given education and announced that organizations such as UNICEF would commence work to make this aim a reality. He said only 4 years more is left to complete the programme and said with the statistics he presented earlier it is obvious that this 15 year World education porogramme has been an utter failure. He said such programmes were implemented as development challenges of the new millennium and all such programmes have failed due to the existing new liberal economic system.
Mr. Amarasinghe said 80% of the people in the world earn less than $10 a day and the poorest 40% of the world are entitled only for 5% of the income. He said the former and present governments in our country allocate only 2% of the gross national income for education. In such an environment getting equal rights in education is a mere concept he pointed out. This should be changed and the concept should be made a reality he said adding it could be done only by defeating capitalism and bringing in socialism instead.
The opening ceremony was chaired by the General Secretary of the Ceylon Teacher Services Union and Secretary of World Federation of Teachers’ Unions (FISE) Mahinda Jayasinghe while the General Secretary of FISE Prof. Wije Kumar and the President of FISE Prof. Ms. Mahafuja Kanam were on the stage. Also, a founder leader of the FISE, a General Secretary and a senior advisor Trinmoi Battacharge was present.
Making the key note address of the summit Prof. Wije Kumar said under the present new liberalist economic system the right for education as well as the quality of education is decided on money. He said it is the responsibility of all to protect education as a right of the masses. There is a class struggle and as teachers we should not be afraid to take the class struggle to the classroom emphasized Prof. Kumar. He said as the teacher is an intelligent activist he has a better opportunity to take the class struggle to the society adding that there is nothing wrong in making the students aware of the truth and today’s task of the teacher is not to indulge in subject matter only.