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WORKERS’ EDUCATION THROUGH STUDY CIRCLE PROGRAMME OF THREE YEARS OF THE ORGANISA

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Post time: 2016-09-14 18:52:47
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WORKERS’ EDUCATION THROUGH STUDYCIRCLE PROGRAMME OF THREE YEARS OF THE ORGANISATION OF AFRICAN TRADE UNIONUNITY (OATUU)  AND ALL CHINA FEDERATIONOF TRADE UNIONS (ACFTU) 2013-2016
Background
It is said thatknowledge is power and that longexperiences in Workers’ Education continues to show that workers’ education training, seminars, courses, workshops,symposia, etc. while good, can only cover the Top Trade Union leaders and alimited number of workers, because of the expenses involved. OATUU over thepast 30 years has trained its affiliates in Africa using the Study CircleMethod which is very cost effective and result oriented. The experiences gainedshows that indeed only a few workers have benefited from the traditional waysof educating workers and for that matter, the surest way of reaching out tomore workers at the grassroots is to intensify the use of the Study CircleMethod.
Inan attempt to strengthen and expand the cordial relationship between theOrganisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) and the All China Federationof Trade Unions (ACFTU), the two organisations are jointly implementing theAfrican Workers’ Education Programme.. The Programme is being coordinated fromAccra, Ghana, under the joint Management of OATUU and the ACFTU.
Thereare basically six stages which have to be completed before the SCs formed atworkplaces. Most of these stages involve leadership sensitisation, the writing,testing and printing of the Manual and the training of the SC Instructors andSC Leaders.
Launching of OATUU/ACFTU AfricanWorkers’ Education Programme, 22nd March 2013, Accra, Ghana
Thejoint OATUU/ACFTU Workers’ Education Programme for African Workers through theStudy Circle Method which is considered as one of the best and most costeffective ways to educate thousands of workers covers ten countries namelyMali, Togo, Sudan, Namibia, Eritrea, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Congo Brazzavilleand Zimbabwe.
TheOATUU/ACFTU Workers’ Education Programme was launched in Accra, Ghana on 22ndMarch 2013.It was attended by the representatives from ACFTU, participatingcountries, TUC- Ghana and itsaffiliates. The launching was also attended by the former OATUU SecretaryGeneral Comrade Hassan Sunmonu. The official launching was done by the ChiefDirector from the Ministry of Labour of Ghana on behalfof the Minister.
Themain objectives of this study circle programme are as follows:
·       To provide  a self-learning opportunity for many workersat   the workplaces,
·       To build thecapacity of workers and their grassroots leadership to enable them to performtheir trade union roles effectively ,
·       To contribute toproblem solving at the workplaces through effective acquisition and exchange ofknowledge and experiences,
·       To contribute tothe strengthening of trade unions through increased trade union membership andincome as part of the impact of the programme.
ExpectedImpact/Result of the Study Circles.
1.     More knowledgeand experiences gained.
2.     Skills andadequate courage acquired in the protection, defence and promotion of workers’rights and interests, thereby contributing to the raising of the workersconditions of working and standards of living.
3.     Changes ofattitudes on the part of workers and management achieved leading to improvedrelations between workers and management teams.
4.     Common problemsat the workplace identified and solutions suggested.
5.     Improved workers’and trade union participation in decision making on issues concerning workersas well as concerning the work place and the society as a whole.
6.     Strengthenedtrade unions in terms of increased membership and income; more democratic andstronger union structures as well as more and concrete services to the members.
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Launching of the OATUU/ACFTU AfricanWorkers’ Education Programme- Accra, Ghana-2013
NATIONAL LEADERSHIP SEMINARS
TheNational Leadership Seminars were carried out in Togo, Eritrea, Namibia,Zimbabwe, Sudan, Congo-Brazzaville, Mali and Egypt.
The target groupwas the National Leadership of Trade Unions in the participating countries. The total number of participantsparticipated is 272 (Male- 204/Female-68)
The aim andobjective of the seminars were:
·       To  introduce the National Leadership to theStudy Circle Concept
·       The subjects covered were.
-Education and educational methodologies(Brainstorming)
- What is OATUU/ACFTU Workers’ Education Programme
Objectives, Expected results,study circle concept, principles and methodologies and Partners
-Structuresand roles in the OATUU/ACFTU Workers’ Education Programme
-Stages to launch the Programme
-Finances andreporting
-The profile of the educational structures in theNational centre and affiliates
-MainstreamingOATUU/ACFTU in present education programmes and structures
-The needs,identification and target settings for National Centre and affiliates inrelation to the OATUU/ACFTU Workers’ Education Programme
Material Development workshops carried out in 2014
Some selected Researchers,Educators and Material Development Experts were put together by each NationalCentre with the guidance of OATUU to develop Basic Study Circle Manual for useby Study Circles for the CNTT-Togo, L’UNTM-Mali, NCEW- Eritrea,NUNW-Namibia, SWTUF-Sudan, CSC-Congo-Brazzaville, ZCTU-Zimbabwe, UGTA-Algeria,
The main objectives of theworkshops were, to develop draft Basic Study Circle Manual for use by StudyCircles.
In the workshop, educational needsidentified by the National Leadership of the various national centres duringthe National Leadership Seminar were developed as topics into a draft manual.
Target group: Researchers, Educators andMaterial Development Experts
Total number of participants who participatedis 79 (Male-61/Female-18)
    Study Circle Instructors and Leaders 2014-2015
The Study CircleInstructors/Leaders Workshops were conducted for CNTT-Togo, L’UNTM-Mali, NCEW-Eritrea, NUNW-Namibia, SWTUF-Sudan, CSC-Congo-Brazzaville, ZCTU-Zimbabwe,UGTA-Algeria,
The main objective of the seminarwas to train study circle Leaders and Instructors on study circle methodology,role of a study circle leader, how to form and run study circle activities,monitoring of study circle activities, planning, budgeting and report writingand to review the basic study circle manual for further improvement.
Target group: Study Circle Instructors and Leaders
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Training of Study CircleInstructors/Leaders in Algiers-Algeria (L’UGTA).
Testing/Polishing and Printing of Manual for Togo, Mali andEritrea-2014 -2015
Target group- A few of the trained SC Instructors/Leaders
Objectives of thetesting- To test the Manual in a few SC sessions and insert any corrections orsuggested additions
EVALUATION REPORT ON IMPACT/RESULTS OFSTUDY CIRCLES OF OATUU/ACFTU AFRICAN WORKERS’ EDUCATION PROGRAMME FOR THEPERIOD 2013 TO 2016.
RESULTS ACHIEVED SO FAR:
The degree of implementation and resultsachieved in the period under review is summarized as follows:
ACHIEVEMENTS:  The following were the highlights:
Sixstages in the formation and running of Study Circles have been planned for theperiod 2013 but this was extended to 2014, 2015 for some countries and even2016 for ETUF-Egypt which could not take off alongside others
1.Eight (8) out of 10 countries have successfully completed the six stagesnamely, National Leadership Seminars, Material Development Workshop, Trainingof Study Circle Instructors/Leaders, (TOT) A, Testing of Manual +Printing,  Training of 2ndGroup of Study Circle Instructors (TOT) B and Forming and carrying out of StudyCircles. The 9th country has just finished with the National LeadershipSeminar and it is ready to continue to the next stage. It could be said withconfidence that there were no direct negative political interference for theTrade Unions in relation to the execution of the OATUU/ACFTU Workers’ Educationprogrammes.
2.As at now, over 200 Study Circles have been formed while more than 1,000workers have joined the Study Circles.
3.Knowledge has been gained by workers and a case in point is, the aggressive andproactive role played by workers in drafting Collective Bargaining agreements.Also, Occupational Safety and Health Committees have been formed in many workplaces.
4.Workers solved problems at their workplaces with home-grown solutions, forexample, increased productivity.
5.Workers are now able to negotiate better with the employer and also, protect,defend and promote workers rights
6.The Study Circles activities have led to increased membership of some nationalcentres.
7.Through the Study Circle activities, industrial harmony has been established atsome workplaces. Management and Workers now work together for better workingconditions
8.Created awareness on trade union and worker rights among members,
9.Enhanced visibility of ACFTU and OATUU cooperation on Workers’ Education totrade Unions, employers and even governments.
10.Popularized OATUU and ACFTU activities.

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