Quality education under the spotlight as global campaign rolls into Montréal

OTTAWA, May 27, 2014 /CNW/ - For most Quebecers, a quality, publicly-funded, accessible education is an expectation, but at home and abroad the definition of quality is increasingly being pushed aside in favour of balanced budgets, standardized testing, and privatization.

As a new premier takes office, the province's education systems are under threat, and it begins with teachers and their ability to deliver high quality education to students. In Quebec alone, $600 million in recent budget cuts have ballooned class sizes, increasing the pressure on teachers at the expense of students. In First-Nations' communities across the country, education is in dire need of reform and funding to ensure students have equal opportunities and adequate learning resources.

This is why, with public education worldwide in crisis, from May 27 – 30 at the Hyatt Regency Montréal, 1255 Jeanne-Mance, the Unite for Quality Education Conference will bring together global leaders in education to address, and tackle the biggest challenges facing education today.

Beginning Tuesday, top-level speakers from politics and academia will inaugurate the Unite for Quality Education Conference with a special focus on OECD policy and OECD countries. The main topics to be discussed will be equity and inclusion in the classrooms, and what quality teaching will look like in the 21st century, as well as how to achieve it nationally and internationally

The Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ) is hosting the event of Education International (EI), the voice of 30 million teachers and other education employees worldwide through its 400 affiliated organizations in more than 170 countries and territories. The Unite for Quality Education Campaign stresses a global focus on education in order to achieve: universal and free access to quality teachers; modern teaching tools and resources; and supportive and safe environments for teaching and learning.

Education International launched its Global Action Year in Paris and New York on 4 October 2013, an initiative which EI and its member organizations are calling for the achievement of the highest quality of education for all in each country. The campaign will run until October 5, World Teachers Day 2014, when campaign leaders meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to stress that education must be the foundation of a post-2015 development agenda.

The event will bring together representatives of EI member organizations and education partners, including OECD, UNESCO, GEFI, GCE and other UN agencies and civil society organizations.

The conference will begin with notable speakers, such as Beatriz Pont, Senior Policy Analyst from the OECD, Dennis Shirley, Professor at Harvard University, and Christopher Edley Jr, Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Dianne Woloschuk, President of CTF, and Louise Chabot, President of CSQ will bring local education into the debate.

A copy of the program and a background note are attached. A press room will be available for journalists for the duration of the event. Further information is available on the Conference website here.


SOURCE: Canadian Teachers' Federation

For further information: Media contacts for further information about the Unite for Quality Education Conference: Andrew King, IE : andrew.king@ei-ie.org ou +32 473 546 362 (portable); Helena Schulz, IE : helena.schulz@ei-ie.org ou +32 473 53 34 09 (portable); Charlie Lennon, IE : charlie.lennon@ei-ie.org ou +353 87 (portable); Christine Marceau, CSQ: marceau.christine@csq.qc.net ou + 1 514 235 5082 (portable); Francine Filion, CTF : ffili@ctf-fce.ca ou + 1 613-899-4247



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