The All India Primary Teachers’ Federation organised its 28th Biennial Educational Conference at Gaya, Bihar on 24-25 November 2018. The conference was inaugurated by Hon’ble Sh., Raj Nath Singh, Union Minister for Home Affairs, Government of India. His presence and address regarding role of teachers in nation-building and inculcating good values among students are the need of the hour was very motivating and encouraging for the teachers. The eminent educationists from India and Ms. Susan Hopgood, President, Education International and union leaders from NUTP, Malaysia especially Mr. Chari ThyeChoon, Deputy President, NUTP were also participated in the conference; it was attended by approximately 30,000 teachers from different parts of the country.
The programme began with customary flag hoisting of Education International, AIPTF and Bihar Rajya PrathmikShikshak Sangh along with national flag. As the flags unfurled, a feeling of commitment and dedication towards union was visible on the faces of thousands of teachers gathered. The main theme of the Conference was:
“The Right to Education means the Right to a Qualified Teacher”
and sub-themes were:
Can we achieve quality education without qualified teachers?
The teachers’ unions response to Privatization and Commercialization of
Education: how it affects us and our children; and
Transforming India through quality education: Role of Teachers’ unions in
advancing right to (free, quality, equitable and inclusive) education for all
Women constitute a substantial part in membership of AU India Primary Teachers’ Federation but their representation in decision-making bodies and leadership positions still poses many challenges before the Federation. The AIPTF is making all possible efforts and measures to enhance women’s participation in union activities and one of them is organising a Women Caucus prior to its Biennial Conference.
The Caucus was inaugurated by Ms. Susan Hopgood, President, education International. In her inaugural address, Ms. Hopgood reflected the status of women globally in the union and in society. She focused her inaugural address on bringing gender equality and women’s empowerment through teachers’ unions. She also stated that gender inequality in any area is major barrier in development and progress of any country.
She urged the Indian counterparts to pay attention to eliminate violence against women, including domestic violence and other forms of discrimination in the society. However, on the other hand, there is an increase in enrollment of girls and there is less drop-out rate as compared to previous years.
The other speakers who addressed the Caucus were Ms. Shashi Bala Singh, Chief Coordinator addressed the delegates regarding the positive developments in the field of girls’ education but still a lot has to be done to attain equality.
The main conference began with a welcome song by school children in honour of Sh. Raj Nath Singh, Union Minister for Home Affairs, Government of India. The welcome address by Sh. Arun Kumar, Chairperson, Reception Committee and Member of Parliament set the pace for the conference.
The states are an integral part of AU India Primary Teachers’ Federation and they also conducted different activities. The activities conducted under Membership Education Programme are mentioned here.