Recently Kamal Ahmed, President of the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU), was on a visit to the UK organised by the NASUWT during which he visited parliament. Meg Munn MP, as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Kurdistan, and Fabian Hamilton MP, a member of the group, were delighted to meet him to discuss how things were progressing in Kurdistan. He was accompanied by Chris Weavers and Abdullah Muhsin, International Liaison Officer, both from the NASUWT.
For teachers in Iraqi Kurdistan, life under the sympathetic regional government has helped them rebuild from a tragic past. The Kurdistan Teachers Union, formed in 1962, was forced to operate underground during the years of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and suffered terribly with some 400 Kurdish teachers being killed in the struggle.
Over the last few years a strong partnership has developed between the UK teaching union NASUWT and the KTU. Education International, which represents organisations of teachers and other education employees across the globe, provided funding for courses for teachers and the NASUWT has provided over 25 courses across Iraq training union representatives. The KTU believe that these courses have played a vital role in strengthening the understanding of the role of trade unions after many years of repression.
Meg said: “The All Party Group for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq works to foster good relationships between people so I was very interested to learn more about the work that the two trade unions have been doing. Trade unions are a vital building block for democracy and it is good to see the support being given by a UK trade union.”