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International Solidarity News

Vol. 7, No. 4, March 2012

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Contents 

Teaching for Transformation International Forum, public meeting on April 12 

Colombia—most dangerous place to be a union activist 

BC teachers making a difference, globally 

Tri-National Coalition Conference in Defense of Public Education 

Volunteers for Education Beyond Borders (EBB) 

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TEACHING FOR TRANSFORMATION INTERNATIONAL FORUM, PUBLIC MEETING ON APRIL 12 

Many of the unions in Latin America are engaged in pedagogical reform movements. About 25 union leaders and researchers from around Latin America will be in Vancouver for a conference, sharing information about their resistance to neo-liberalism and talking about their work on transformative pedagogy.

A panel of these folks from Latin America will be speaking at a public meeting at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 12 at the BCTF building. The address is 550 West 6th Avenue in Vancouver. The Olympic Village Canada Line stop is right across the street from the BCTF building. More information is available online at http://bctf.ca/SocialJustice.aspx?id=6292.

The event will be in Spanish with English translation.

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COLOMBIA—MOST DANGEROUS PLACE TO BE A UNION ACTIVIST

Union activists in Colombia have been targets of assassination—especially teacher union activists. The Colombian government has approved legislation to provide reparations for families of individuals who have been killed or forced into exile. In order to receive recognition and reparations, a case has to be built through investigations and reports.

The region in Colombia with the most violence against unionists is Cordoba—at least 95 teachers have been assassinated since 1995, including several in the past year. The regional union, ADEMACOR, applied to the BCTF International Solidarity Fund for resources to support a team of investigators to gather the information required. A grant of $10,000 was approved to support this process.

ADEMACOR will provide the BCTF with a report on the process.

Related articles are accessible on the “Making a difference globally” web page; scroll down to “Colombia”.

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BC TEACHERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE, GLOBALLY 

Many BCTF members have been active in global education in their classrooms, as well as in international projects. The International Solidarity Committee held a workshop in February as an opportunity to share information about the work of the BCTF program, as well as that of CoDevelopment Canada and Education Beyond Borders, both of which are supported by the BCTF International Solidarity Program.

An article about the day by Janet Nicol is available on the BCTF website at http://bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/SocialJustice/Programs/ISP/MakingDifferenceGlobally-2012.pdf .

The workshop was available on live streaming video for people not able to get to Vancouver for the session. An archived version can be viewed at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/20377221.

The International Solidarity Program is interested in receiving reports on school projects with a global focus to share with colleagues on the BCTF website. We are redesigning the international section to make resources more readily accessible. If you have a story about a project, refer to http://bctf.ca/forms/share.aspx to share it, or get in touch via InternationalSolidarity@bctf.ca.

You can read about projects already reported-on at “Teachers and students making connections”, http://bctf.ca/SocialJustice.aspx?id=20912.

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TRI-NATIONAL COALITION CONFERENCE IN DEFENSE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION 

The Tri-national Coalition, which includes teacher union activists from Mexico, the United States, and Canada, is holding its 10th conference. The Coalition has been in existence since the creation of NAFTA led to a desire to share experiences of how neo-liberal policies are affecting public education in each of the three countries. Each of the conferences to date has provided a platform for deepening understanding of how globalization is having an impact on education.

The conference this year is being held in Mexico City on May 17 to 20. Topics at the conference include the economic crisis and its impact on education, indigenous education, standardized testing, and pedagogical alternatives.

More information is available on the web at http://www.trinationalcoalition.org/index_en.html.

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VOLUNTEERS FOR EDUCATION BEYOND BORDERS (EBB) 

Education Beyond Borders is looking for teachers who want to work on projects over the summer holiday. 

EBB has been offering a developmental professional development program in South Africa and Kenya for several years. As the projects develop the capacity to sustain themselves, the EBB support moves to new areas. They are looking for volunteers who want to bring their skills and commitment to EBB projects.

EBB can be found on the web at http://www.educationbeyondborders.org/ 

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INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY E-MAIL LISTS  

Know anyone who might be interested in receiving the BCTF’s International Solidarity News in their e-mail? It comes out about once a month. To subscribe, send an e-mail request to InternationalSolidarity@bctf.ca.

Get on the CoDevelopment Canada Partners in Solidarity newsletter list by going to their website at http://www.codev.org/codev2/.

The Vancouver CIDA office has a monthly newsletter that provides updates on international development events and activities in the region as well as opportunities. Send a request to azita.alavi@acdi-cida.gc.ca to get on the list.


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