OECTA in solidarity with teachers around the world

    TORONTO, Oct. 5 /CNW/ - On this World Teachers Day 2007, Ontario's
Catholic teachers stand in solidarity with their colleagues around the world,
especially where they are oppressed in Mexico and Africa. Elaine Mac Neil,
president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) says
that on this day, teachers around the world are reminded about the important
role their profession plays and their contribution to society. "Sadly, too
often governments in some parts of the world feel that teachers who speak out
for justice must be silenced."
    Three members of the Ethiopian Teachers' Association (ETA) are currently
imprisoned because of their legal work on behalf of their teacher's
association. Currently, two ETA officers and a member of the ETA are in
detention in the Addis Ababa Kality central prison. A fourth one has been
reported missing since May 28. The facts are worrying because the two ETA
officers in detention and the one missing are precisely the three colleagues
who had previously been arrested, detained and tortured in December 2006 until
their sudden release on 23 March 2007.
    In Oaxaca Mexico, there have been many violations of human rights in
recent months, since teachers and others began to challenge the fraudulent
election that brought the current governor of Oaxaca Ulises Ruiz Ortis to
office for a term that does not expire until 2010. More than 200 people have
"disappeared," including more than 100 teachers. Police have grabbed them when
out shopping and even gone into classrooms and arrested teachers in front of
primary children. Central to the actions by the Oaxaca governor is an attempt
to silence voices of dissent.
    Mac Neil says that today OECTA members are also focusing on the needs and
rights of their students and support international efforts to defend the right
to education for all and prevent child labour. In this context, teachers
around the world are also advocating to protect girls who are often the victim
of combined discrimination for being a girl as well as a child.

For further information:

For further information: CONTACT: Elaine Mac Neil, OECTA President,
Office: (416) 925-2493 X 417, Cell phone: (416) 400-8324

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Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

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