EIA strengthens the capacities of its Member Organisations through the John Thompson Fellowship Programme

The John Thompson Fellowship Programme, named after John M. Thompson, former Secretary-General of the World Confederation of Organisations of the Teaching Profession (WCOTP), from 1970 to 1981, aims at strengthening the education sector trade unions through building their capacities. 
Education International Africa (EIA) has carried out the John Thompson Fellowship (JTF) training for its Member Organisations in Zone 3 francophone countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo. The training took place at the Mensvic Hotel in Accra, Ghana, from 5th to 9th February 2024. It  brought together General Secretaries, women, and youth leaders from SYNAEM, SYNAPES, SYNAPROLYC, SNEP-B and SYNESP from Benin; SNESS, SNEA-B, SYNATEB, and F-SYNTER from Burkina Faso; SNEPPCI, SYNESCI, SYNAFETPCI, CEPENCI, and FOSEF-FESACI from Ivory Coast; and FESEN of Togo. EI Africa Secretariat Staff also took part in the training. 
In his opening remarks, Dr. Dennis Sinyolo, Regional Director of EI Africa, said that the ultimate goal of JTF is to build stronger, more vibrant and independent education unions. Unions that can defend and promote the rights of their members and those of their students. That is the reason why the theme of this training is ‘’Building a Vibrant Education Union Movement in Africa’’. 
This training for francophone Zone 3 Member Organisations is meant to strengthen the skills of the organisations’ leadership in a variety of fields, including  leadership, advocacy, communication, conflict resolution, union structures, collective bargaining, union finances, gender equality, human rights, privitisation and commercialisation of and in education, as well as the development of strategic plans for the growth of their organisations. 
The training is based on the results from a needs assessment survey conducted by EI member organisations in Africa, as well as the results of their SWOT(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analyses carried out in 2021. Several challenges and threats, such as government meddling in union affairs, loss of union membership, inadequate payment of membership dues, and lack of internal democracy have been identified by both surveys and the SWOT analyses.
The training also highlighted the EI strategic directions (Status, System, Rights, Union Renewal) in view of aligning  capacity building with EI’s vision, mission and core values.
Sinyolo said the overall aim of the training was to help member organisations to fulfill what he called the five union imperatives, including the capacity to:
  • Advocate and influence – Push for the achievement of  quality public education for all. In January 2023, EI launched the Go Public! Fund Education campaign. This campaign will enable us to intensify our advocacy for the achievement of SDG 4 and CESA objectives. The African Union has designated 2024 the Year of Education and would  be launching the Year in Addis Ababa the following  week. 
  • Fight and Win – Fight for democracy, human and trade union rights, including academic freedom and professional autonomy.
  • Research and Define – Generate evidence to support social and policy dialogue; define or set the policy agenda.
  • Renew and Develop – Involve and build the capacity of women, young members and union leaders; initiate South-South Cooperation .
  • Organise and Mobilise – Organise and mobilise members to participate effectively in union activities and programmes.
‘’Dear friends, using what I call, ‘the medical model to union development’, this training will enable you to examine your union, diagnose its weaknesses and ‘prescribe medication’ for its ‘recovery’, vibrancy and sustainability’’,  Sinyolo concluded.
At the end of the five-day training, the fellows were able to reflect on the vision, mission, and values of their organisations, which were translated into draft strategic plans aimed at making them more vibrant.

[Sun, 11 Feb 2024 10:55:00 +0000] | DIGG THIS

Website Development and Design by Cyblance