Reclaim Education – A Global Week of Action
May 1st – 8th, 2014
We are calling for a Global Week of Action to reclaim education. The International Student Movement (ISM) is a platform consisting of many individuals and groups from different parts of the world. A group of students associated with the ISM came together during a series of chat meetings and decided to call for a coordinated action worldwide. We will UNITE in solidarity, because no matter where we live, we face the same struggle against profit-driven interests and their hold on education. Budget cuts, outsourcing, school closures, climbing costs of living and tuition fees among other phenomena, are all linked to an increasing commercialization and privatization of education. Uniting globally is our answer to these obstacles – fighting for emancipatory education for all.
Students across the globe are drowning in debt. These debts, constructed by the individualistic notion of “investing in one’s own future“, will have to be re-paid by selling our future labor. The increasing pressure to perform is sickening; the restrictions on access to education have become predatory and must be resisted! Everyone should have equal access to education, no matter what their socioeconomic status is.
Across all continents, people are affected by the increasing commodification and commercialization of education. This is vividly portrayed by the symptoms, such as the de-democratization and implementation of more hierarchical power structures within institutions of learning. The logic of the market requires that competitiveness and profits take priority over developing the capabilities for emancipatory thinking. Both depend on consumers, cheap labor and “consent of the governed” – not individuals living self-determined lives. Hence, this is not only a student’s issue, everyone is affected! The present circumstances obstruct us from attaining education and an accompanying environment in which people are stimulated in the development of critical thinking. By contrast, the present system educates us solely within the boundaries of what is compatible with the capitalist paradigm.
As a result, education systems consist mainly of factories which seek to reproduce the logic of the market with all its consequences. This leads to the commodification of knowledge, and fosters intellectual exploitation. To point out these links and interrupt this mode of production, we hereby call for students, staff, teachers and parents as well as everyone else who identifies with the struggle to get organized and unite worldwide by participating in the Global Week of Action!
We decided to kick off this global week of action on May 1st, because we see the struggle within the education system as being directly linked to the worldwide labor movement. We are all struggling against symptoms of the currently predominant economic system and will only be able to overcome it by uniting our efforts.