Education International Latin America to visit Chile to express support for the new constitution and its defense of the right to education

Representatives of the Education International Latin America Regional Committee will take part in an event, alongside national affiliates, in support of Chile’s proposed new constitution.

A delegation of the Education International Latin America (EILA) Regional Committee will visit Santiago, Chile on 4 and 5 August to express Education International’s (EI) support for the new constitution of the Republic of Chile, which incorporates the right to state-funded public education in the South American country.

Hugo Yasky, president of the EILA Regional Committee and general secretary of the CTA trade union center of Argentina, will lead the union delegation, accompanied by Fátima Silva, EILA vice president and general secretary of CNTE (National Confederation of Education Workers of Brazil) and Roberto Leão, vice president of Education International Latin America. The delegation will be joined by Combertty Rodríguez, senior coordinator of the EILA regional office; Carlos de Feo, EILA higher education coordinator and general secretary of CONADU (National Federation of University Teaching Staff of Argentina); Eduardo Pereyra, international relations secretary of CTERA (Education Workers’ Confederation of Argentina); and José Olivera, president of FeNaPES (National Federation of Secondary School Teachers of Uruguay).

The international delegation will be welcomed and accompanied by the EILA’s affiliated organizations in Chile – the CPC, FAUECH and SINDIDOS.

The visit of the EILA Regional Committee is within the framework of Education International’s global campaign against the privatization and commercialization of education #StudentsBeforeProfit, and aims to express regional and global support for the recognition of the right to public education in the new Chilean constitution. Article 35 of the proposed constitution states that education is “a primary and inalienable duty of the state”.

Defending the right to public education

For EI and its affiliates, the new constitution of Chile is a step forward in the defense of the right to public education and breaks with the neoliberal model established during the Pinochet dictatorship, which sees education as a commodity subject to profit making and private initiative.

On August 4, the EILA Regional Committee delegation will meet with its affiliates in Chile and provide statements to the press. It is hoped that the EILA delegation will be able to discuss the defense of the right to education with political and government authorities, particularly the Chilean Ministry of Education and the Undersecretariats of Early Childhood Education and Higher Education.

On Friday 5 August, an event will be held in support of the approval of Chile’s new Magna Carta. During the activity, the CPC, FAUECH and SINDIDOS will share their views on the text of the new constitution and the prospects for the 4 September referendum. The EILA Regional Committee will use the opportunity to express its support for the “I Approve” option for September 4, in line with its position defending public education as a social right guaranteed by the state. Messages of support for the new constitution from Education International affiliates from various continents will also be presented.

Chile’s new constitution being put to the people in the 3 September referendum, was drafted by the Constitutional Convention elected on 15 and 16 May 2021, in response to the mandate of the national referendum of October 2020.

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