Leader of Nicaraguan teachers meets NUT General Secretary

NSCAG News | on: Monday, 25 January 2016

Guisell Morales, Jose Antonio Zepeda, Christine Blower and Samidha Garg (NUT International Secretary)

Guisell Morales, Jose Antonio Zepeda, Christine Blower and Samidha Garg (NUT International Secretary)

On 21 January, Professor Jose Antonio Zapeda, General Secretary of the Nicaraguan Teachers' Union ANDEN met with Christine Blower, General Secretary of the NUT. He was accompanied to the meeting by Nicaraguan Ambassador Guisell Morales. During the meeting, both stressed the importance of teachers being at the heart of education and the need to involve the community in education. Both also recognised the social role which unions have to play in society - pay and working conditions are important, but unions and in particular teachers need to develop relationships with the community and concern themselves with social provision and social issues. Christine spoke of the way in which teachers in the UK are now campaigning on issues of social justice and have particular concerns about poverty and homelessness. Jose Antonio said that there were parallels between what is now happening in the UK and what the Nicaraguan unions went through for 17 years when neo-liberal governments were in power. This has now changed, and Nicaraguans have free education and a number of social programmes in place which are designed to help the poorest in society. Teachers in the country are also rewarded, and education is a clear priority for the government. ANDEN is also very much focussed on the development of skills and providing a high quality education. At the end of the meeting, Christine and Jose Antonio spoke of the importance of international solidarity and agreed to examine further opportunities for co-operation and information exchange.



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