January 24 is the second annual International Day of Education, a timely opportunity to reflect on the importance of education in societies around the world, and particularly here in Ontario.
The UN’s aim in creating the day was to underscore how central education is to our collective well-being, and to protect it not only as a fundamental right, but as our greatest renewable resource.
Education creates opportunity. It fosters independence and responsibility in people and provides the tools we need to control our own lives, and to contribute to our neighbourhoods, villages, and our greater society. Through education we can develop our sense of social and environmental justice and protect what’s most important to working people, such as protecting our right to a decent wage or to a clean environment for the well-being of all people and economies. And education is a powerful tool for defending against and eliminating poverty and inequality.
Education is the key to lasting peace, because wherever there is ignorance, there is violence and corruption.
OPSEU has deep roots in education, whether it’s our college faculty and support workers, the education support workers in school districts across the province or the many members who work in universities throughout Ontario, providing everything from education support, security, library services to keeping the cafeterias running.
Sadly our members in education are watching Doug Ford’s government cram more students into classrooms and laying off teachers. From chronically underfunding our colleges and universities, he cut tuition by 10 per cent but left post-secondary institutions to make it up.
Education is the motor that drives Ontario and its economy. It guarantees prosperity for the present and hope for the future.
That’s why, on this second International Day of Education Day, we thank all OPSEU members working in the education sector for their tireless dedication and commitment to our children.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer