Despite the wide consensus on the fact that quality education is a key element to exit the economic and social crisis, to reduce social inequalities, to increase social well-being and democratic participation in society, education systems in many European countries are deteriorating. ETUCE looked in-depth into the reality of five countries: Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, which have experienced very big cut backs in education. The ETUCE documentary 'When Europe forgot its homework: education in crisis' shows that cuts and downturns in the education systems have affected everyday people  – teachers, students, parents, and societies – and made the prospects and opportunities for young people more unclear, jeopardizing the future of the younger generations. It also shows how teacher trade unions have reacted to the economic crisis, delivering alternative answers to face the effects of austerity.

Trailer - When Europe Forgot Its Homework: Education in Crisis

The ETUCE documentary is the innovative outcome of the EU financed project "Development of teacher unions' expertise on exiting the crisis through quality education", which has been running from November 2013. The Project has been led by ETUCE and its affiliates OLME in Greece, TUI in Ireland, FLC-CGIL in Italy, FNE in Portugal and FECCOO in Spain as project partners. The first screening of the Documentary took place on 22 September 2014, during the final conference of the project. More than a 100 teacher trade unionist and stakeholder in education participated to the conference and engaged in fruitful discussions and best practice sharing on alternative trade union answers to exiting the crisis through quality education.

During the shootings in Athens, Rome, Madrid, Porto and Dublin, the film team and the project advisory group met precarious teachers with uncertain salary, students without any form of financial support forced to drop education, or parents putting themselves on the frontline to grant pupils safe and clean school environments. Despite the institutional emphasis on growth and economic recovery, these countries are still facing tremendous obstacles in their education systems, which should be of a great concern for all the industrial sectors and for the future of the European democratic society. This ETUCE film-documentary is a wake-up call for the politicians in the EU countries and a new way forward for quality education.

When Europe forgot its homework: education in crisis


(Subtitles being provided in English and French by clicking on the logo CC on the bottom right of the video.)

See the Documentary 'When Europe forgot its homework: education in crisis' in a shorter version.

Credits: This documentary is an ETUCE production with the financial support from the European Commission. It was produced under the continuous supervision of the ETUCE Director Martin Rømer. It couldn't be realised without the hard work and commitment of the project advisory group team: Joaquim Santos (Portugal, FNE), Inmaculada Echeverría Pazos (FECCOO, Spain), Gianna Fracassi (FLC-CGIL, Italy), Roisin Farrelly, (TUI, Ireland), Nikolaos Papachristos and Themis Kotsifakis (OLME, Greece) as well as without the professionalism and dedication of the film makers María Royo and Antón Calderón from the film company Jur & Jur Production.