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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 17, Number 4, January/February 2005

EI president visits B.C.

The new president of Education International (EI), Thulas Nxesi, thanked Canadians for the role they played in ending apartheid in South Africa when he spoke at the opening of the BCTF leadership institute in November. He thanked the BCTF, in particular, for its support in the development of his union, SADTU. Nxesi was elected head of Education International at its Congress in July, in Brazil.

Nxesi also spoke about what is happening to teachers around the world: "Whether you are a teacher in South Africa, Canada, or Asia, the issues are the same. The conditions may be different, but the issues are the same: cuts in social spending, increases in class sizes, and casualization of teaching jobs. These actions of right-wing governments have set back global progressive forces."

He complimented the BCTF on joining the B.C. Federation of Labour and the recognition that we are all workers and must be acting together. Dividing progressive forces ensures loss, he said.

He urged the BCTF to continue the tradition of international solidarity it demonstrated in working with his colleagues in South Africa.

– Larry Kuehn

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