Monday, December 31, 2007

Declaration of Youth and Students in the Asia-Pacific Region on Education and Employment (Part II)

Our Commitment

We, the participants of this camp, thereby express our firm commitment to advance and uphold the right of the people to education and employment.

We affirm our conviction that education is a fundamental right and not a privilege. It must be free, compulsory, scientific, practical, competitive, nationalist, people-oriented and must respond to the people’s needs and interests. We demand that the budget for the military, for the repression of our people, be channeled to the much more necessary and productive use of educating our people. We recommend the introduction of an education tax coming from high-income earning people and sale of liquor and cigarettes/tobacco.

We demand an end to the commercialization and privatization of education and other dictates of neo-liberal globalization. Education should not be used as a means of getting profit but to serve the nation and people.

To this end, we call for a curriculum that is scientific, secular, and knowledge-based and also adopt sound and scientific examination system. It should be a curriculum that shall teach students to become nationalists, critical thinkers and progressive-minded. It must serve not the demands of the foreign job market but the needs of our countries.

Discrimination of women, indigenous peoples, cultural and gender minorities should be ended. Mother language or mother tongue education should be promoted and protected to enrich our people’s culture and make education more accessible for them.

Our teachers should be given necessary and up-to-date trainings as well as reasonable and standard salaries. The appointment of education ministers, heads and officials should be based on their merit and qualifications, not political biases.

We call on the government and school administrators to end their intervention in student affairs. Students should be given full academic freedom, which means freedom to publish, organize, speak, hold rallies and assemblies. Student publication, councils and governments should be fully independent, without intervention and fully supported by school administrations and governments.

With regards to employment, we call on our governments that all capable individuals be given full employment according to their qualifications, regardless of their sex, gender and race. Differently-abled individuals should be given full social security including living allowances, health care, etc.

The capitalist dictate of contractualization should be stopped immediately. All workers and employees in the private and public sector should be given full job security.

We demand for food sovereignty and security and the protection of the ownership of seeds to the farmers.

The labor-export policy of the government should also be stopped while the rights of migrant workers should be ensured and protected. We demand the free movement of people. Overseas workers should be paid salaries equal to those of the local workers in the respective countries.

The rights of women should be respected in the workplace. They should be given equal treatment, opportunities and equal wage for an equal amount of work. Discrimination, abuse and harassment should be stopped and apprehended.

The government should ensure that child labor be stopped and that working children be sent to schools to study.

The rights of workers should be respected and upheld according to the conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

We believe that the ultimate solution to these problems on employment and poverty is the end of feudalism along with autocratic, orthodox state and foreign intervention in our countries. Genuine and comprehensive land reform as well as national industrialization should likewise be realized. The process of industrialization and development should also be environmentally-friendly and sustainable. National sovereignty and the people’s right to self determination should be asserted and protected. All unequal treaties and agreements with capitalist nations should be ended and our countries should have an independent foreign policy.

In pursuit of these demands, we shall hold forums, symposia, rallies, demonstrations and peaceful mass movement to pressure our respective governments and involve more students and youth in our fight for our rights to education and employment.

These we declare in solidarity with all students and youth in the Asia-pacific region and the world who face, stand up to and unite to frustrate the onslaught of neo-liberal globalization.
Education is a fundamental right, not a privilege!Employment for all!Long live students and youth movements of Asia and the Pacific!Long live international solidarity!

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