At today's Executive meeting, Christine Blower reported on the excellent work done by Justice for Columbia in bringing together leaders of the FARC and the Columbian government. JfC are looking to bring FARC leaders to South Africa, northern Ireland and Britain as part of the peace process. The NUT will support the visa application process for FARC leaders.
The General Secretary then reported on the case of 4 teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico who have been arrested on charges relating to protests against regressive education 'reform' which could see them spend up to 40 years in prison. The Union has written a formal letter of protest to the Mexican Embassy and offered solidarity to the arrested teachers.
Finally, Christine reported that we have received a letter from Grant Shapps, Minister of State at the Department for International Development in response to our campaign against British aid money being spent on education privatisation in the global south. In the letter, Shapps defends the use of taxpayers' money to fund private education companies who are aggressively 'opening up' education markets and threatening state education in some of the worlds poorest countries. The reply also admits that DfID is currently paying fees directly to private shool operators for some 22,000 children, amounting to a massive direct subsidy of global edu-businesses.