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Internationally united for Education

11-04-2008 02:59 PM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: International Students Movement

For many years students, teaching and technical staff and parents around the world have been resisting steps towards greater commercialization of public education. Just like every other public sector education systems are being put under increasing pressure to be more efficient and competitive on a global level. Doors are opened for companies and corporations to invest in higher education, tuition fees – once introduced – are sky-rocketing, faculties that are unable to attract enough private sponsors are deemed unnecessary and closed and politics increasingly focus on supporting a few educational institutions, in the hope to create "elite-universities" at the cost of all the other institutions.

More and more people ask themselves: Is the public education system still serving the interests of the public, or is the focus shifting to implement education systems that primarily serve private and business interests?
In response to these global developments activists – mainly students – in at least 20 countries on 5 continents are preparing an "International Day of Action against the Commercialization of Education" on November 5th.

In some countries – such as Israel, Canada, Bangladesh and the Philippines – national unions are involved, in others protests are being organized by student representative councils at single universities or other activist groups involved in social movements.
The biggest protests are expected in various cities across Canada and Liberia, as well as in Zagreb (Croatia). Demonstrations, rallies or teach-ins are also planned in Kentucky (U.S. of A.), Düsseldorf (Germany), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Skopje ((f.Y.R.o.)Macedonia), Cairo (Egypt) and London (England). Activists in Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands, France, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kyrgyzstan and probably Italy as well will also join the others against the commercialization of education around the world on that day. International chat-conferences were organized in advance, where group representatives co-ordinated and planned the day of action and they all agreed to make use of the slogan "One World – One Struggle, Education is NOT for Sale" during the protests themselves. "Greetings of Solidarity" – some "live", others recorded – via Skype or phone are being arranged among various groups around the world for November 5th as well.

In the last two weeks alone massive student protests took place in Dhaka (Bangladesh), various cities of Spain, Italy, Israel and Ireland as well as smaller protests across Canada.
The "International Day of Action against the Commercialization of Education" will only be the beginning and can be viewed as the first step towards a proper international movement for free and emancipating public education accessible to all!

-------------------

You will also find more information on the following website: http://www.emancipating-education-for-all.org
And a list summarizing the (student) protests against the commercialization of education around the world in the year 2008 so far:
http://fading-hope.blog-city.com/students_protest_worldwide_against_commercialisation_bologn.htm

This press release was sent from the initiator of the "International day of action against the Commercialization of Education".

The International Students Movement is a lose network of groups from around the world struggling for free and emancipating public education.

Mo Gas
Geschwister Scholl Str.7
35039 Marburg
Germany

Email: international.students.movement@gmail.com

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