Statement on Iraq
The NASUWT is proud to be a member of Education International.
Quality public education for a better world is the number one priority for the 170 affiliates of Education International.
But, around the world, the fundamental human right of children to education is not being fulfilled.
60 million children worldwide are denied access to education.
Lack of access to schooling is not the only issue.
Quality education is also under threat from a lack of investment, a lack of adequate facilities and resources, a lack of qualified teachers, and as a consequence of ideological and sectarian division, conflict and violence.
Yet, it is teachers who, every day, are taking a stand for the rights of children and young people; and it is teacher unions worldwide that are leading the effort to secure a better future for all children and young people.
In Iraq, access to quality education is a critical issue.
Since the Iraq War:
· children have been denied access to decent school buildings;
· the majority of school buildings do not meet quality and health and safety standards;
· many children are without access to education;
· students are not provided with the resources, materials, equipment and other resources necessary for their education;
· there is a refugee crisis which is intensifying pressure on resources in Iraq;
· teachers have seen their pay withheld and their working conditions deteriorate and
· the Iraqi Teachers’ Union faces threats, intimidation and violence where it seeks to organise and represent effectively its members.
Despite billions of US dollars in the Iraq economy, today education in Iraq is in crisis.
The NASUWT, as part of our ongoing commitment to support human and trade union rights in Iraq, will use all efforts to:
· highlight the education crisis in Iraq;
· continue to work in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the ITU and KTU;
· campaign for quality education as a fundamental entitlement for all children and young people in Iraq;
· provide practical support, relief and assistance to teachers in Iraq and
· work in coalition with national and international partners to Unite for Quality Education in Iraq.
Notes to editors
Statement made to the Annual Conference of the NASUWT on 20 April 2014
NASUWT’s International Solidarity Award winner Mr Ahmed Jassam Salih, National President of the technical sector of the Iraqi Teachers’ Union (ITU), addressed Conference on 20 April.
Press release originally issued on 18 April about International Solidarity winner also attached.