Ag. HOD EDUCATION
COM. MAUREEN EKWUAZI-ONYIA

NLC EDUCATION POLICY

General Principles

1.1.   NLC
Education must seek to build political awareness among the working class and
must be geared towards attaining social change that deepens democracy and build
a more equal society.

1.2.   NLC
Education programmes must prepare unions to adapt to new challenges. It must in
addition be a tool to build organisational capacity and a way of mobilising
members.

1.3.   NLC
education programmes must provide workers with leadership training for trade
union and societal responsibilities.

1.4.   Education
should promote internal democracy, transparency and accountability within union
structures. Education events should be a forum in which members could freely
express their opinions.

Affiliate Union Structures

1.5.   Affiliate
unions must be encouraged to show a strong commitment to union education,
provide a budget, staffing and clear structures to develop and implement
educational programmes.

Funding and Cost Efficiency

1.6.   NLC
affiliates must strive to run education programs, which are sustainable
financially and organisationally. In order to realise cost effectiveness in the
funding of education, unions must use their own facilities as well as those
available in friendly institutions.

1.7.   To
ensure sufficient funding for education, unions should be encouraged to set
aside at least 10% of the union’s budget for education annually.

1.8.   Some
percentage of resources will be committed to women’s education, which will take
into account the ratio of men to women.

1.9.   The NLC
education endowment fund will be re-launched.

1.10. All
educational programmes of NLC will be jointly funded with the affiliates.

Women and Gender

1.11. Gender
issues should be integrated in all educational programmes and activities.

1.12. Exclusive
education programmes must be provided for women members.

1.13. Women
should make up at least 30% of participants in all ‘non women exclusive’
education activities

Methodology

1.14. Education
courses should be designed so that the learning process is centred on the
experience of the learner as an important source of information and knowledge.
Active learning methods should be encouraged.

Education Networks

1.15. The NLC
will promote the development of a network of educators within the union
nationally and internationally.

Evaluation

1.16. There
must be a process of regular evaluation of education programmes by the
Educators Forum and reported to the Annual Education Conference

2.      Policy
for the Revival of the NLC Educators Forum

The Role and Activities of the NLC Educators Forum

Policies and Programmes

2.1    To
formulate proposals and provide advise to the National Administrative Council
(NAC) of NLC on education policy for the NLC based on the needs of the
affiliates.

2.2    To
assist the NLC and affiliate union executive structures when adopting policies
on education.

2.3    To draw
up a national education calendar as proposal to NAC.

2.4    To
advice on the development and assist in the implementation of an annual NLC
education conference to evaluate the progress of union education and plan for
the year ahead.

2.5    To
advice on and assist in the organisation of massive worker education campaigns

Education Programmes

2.6    To
propose to NAC a functional trade union education curriculum that is gender
sensitive and class biased.

2.7    To
assist in the development of education courses and training materials

Educators

2.8    To
assist in the training of union educators.

2.9    To be a
forum where educators share experiences and give each other support.

Women

2.10 To
promote the use of education to encourage women’s participation in the union at
all levels

Affiliate Unions

2.11 To help
unions identify and determine their needs and make recommendations to unions on
how they could develop their programmes.

2.12 To assist
industrial unions to set up functional education departments.

2.13 To assist
in updating unions’ knowledge of modern techniques

2.14 To
participate in union seminars and workshops as resource persons

2.15 To create
and sustain awareness among union leadership on the importance of education.

2.16 To assist
unions to locate sources of funding

Composition

2.17 The forum
will gather active union educators and women educators.

Meetings


NLC Rain School 2018

2.18 The forum
will meet regularly according to need and practicality

2.19 In 2001
the forum will hold two evaluation and planning workshops

2.20 A Second
Educators Conference will be set up in the last quarter of 2001 to evaluate the
progress made in policy, structure and education and training programmes by NLC
and its affiliates as well as develop a proposal for 2002.

Co-ordination

2.21 The NLC
Education Department will co-ordinate the operation of the Forum and should be
the link to the formal structures of the NLC.

3.      Policy
on Affiliates Education Structures.

3.1.   The NLC
Educator’s Forum will advise and assist affiliate unions to set up appropriate
internal educational structures, which should include education departments and
education committee.

3.2.   The
NLC educators’ forum will develop a set of guidelines suggesting how NLC and
its affiliate unions could set up basic democratic education structures that
will allow for popular participation. These guidelines should be proposed to
the NLC and its affiliates for adoption.

4.      Policy
on Building Africa wide and international Linkages

4.1             The
NLC Educators Forum will through the appropriate channels provide the setting
up of direct with union educators particularly on the African continent for the
purposes of establishing joint training courses, sharing of education materials
and experiences.

5.      Policy
on a Membership Education project.

5.1    The NLC
Educators Forum will assist in developing and disseminating basic information
to union members. This information should include issues such as the policies,
structures and operation of the NLC and its affiliates, what the rights of members
are etc. The information should be presented in appropriate media such as
pamphlets, posters, newsletters, information booklets, audio and videotapes.

5.2    NLC
Educators Forum will assist affiliate unions to develop basic membership
information material. These materials should include information on the
policies, structures and operation of NLC and its affiliate unions as well
cover issues on the economy, the political situation and general social issues.

5.3    Women
and youth will be targeted as an important part of union membership.

5.4    In
implementing all of the above, the work of affiliate unions must be taken into
account.

5.5    The NLC
educators’ forum will explore the possibility of setting up a mass membership
education campaign in the preparation for the
May 1, 2001 celebrations and advise accordingly.

5.6    NLC
education must assist and encourage members to acquire basic education skills.

6.      Policy
on a Shop Stewards Education Project

6.1             The
NLC educators’ forum will advice on and assist in a shop stewards education
project aimed at developing education programmes for worker
representatives/shop-stewards at the workplace level.

6.2    The
forum should develop systematic basic education materials  for the training of shop-stewards.

6.3    The
forum should train trainers/facilitators within affiliate unions who will be
able to run shop stewards training courses

6.4    The
forum should identify and encourage the development of a delivery strategy for
shop-stewards training.

6.5    The
forum should encourage a systematic approach to shop-stewards education and
discourage ad-hoc approaches. The project should build on experiences of best
practise in shop-stewards education.

7.      Policy
on a State Level Leadership Education Project.

7.1    NLC
Educators Forum will advice on and assist in a project aimed at providing basic
education for all SAC/SEC members and women’s committee members of the NLC.

7.2    This
project should be seen as both delivering education for NLC state structures
and also develop a model, which affiliate unions could use to build their own
state level leadership education projects.

7.3    The
education programme should include the following topics in the 2000-2001
programme:

•       NLC’s
new policy direction (after the completion of the agenda setting process).

•       The
popularisation of the NLC constitution to include the structure and operation
of the NLC.

•       Basic
organisational skills (e.g. running effective meetings.)

•       The
basics of collective bargaining, negotiations, and organising members and
handling strikes.

8.      Policy
on a National Level Leadership Education Project.

National leadership of NLC as well as its
affiliates requires information, education and training to support them in
their leadership of the union and in the process of policy formulation.

8.1    The NLC
Educators Forum will advice and assist in a series of “Leadership Retreats”
aimed at giving leadership an opportunity to reflect on key policy and
organisational issues and develop their understanding and skills in these
areas.

8.2    NLC
education should prepare regular information packs for leadership comprising of
publications and other documents of relevance.

9.      Policy
on a Union Management and Staff Education Project.

Union Management refers to national senior
appointed and elected officers who are responsible for decision making on
issues such as administration, staff and the control of resources. While the
training of union management is a specialist task, it should be located within
the principles of union education.

9.1    The NLC
educators’ forum will be involved in the design and monitoring of all
activities on management development in NLC.

9.2    The
forum shall identify the specific training needs of the two categories of
management i.e. national full time and elected officers and advice accordingly.

9.3    The
forum will assist so that courses in modern financial management, information
technology, democratic management practises personnel management etc. are
integrated into the training programme.

10.    Policy
on a Union Organiser/Field Staff Education Project

Union organiser and field staff are full time
employees who are responsible for building the structures of the union,
developing strategies to resolve members’ problems and representing and
negotiating on behalf of members. The training here is seen as being more
intensive and at an advanced level as compared to other union education

10.1 The NLC
educators’ forum will advice on and assist in a systematic and intensive
education and training programme for organising/field staff of the NLC and its
affiliates that will help them develop both practical organisational skills as
well as theoretical perspectives.

10.2 This
programme consists of intensive national courses and shorter regionally based
workshops on specific issues.

10.3 A
research project should be initiated to develop a detailed profile of current
organisers and field staff and understand what their work related needs are so
that an appropriate training programme could be designed.

10.4 The NLC
Educators’ forum will assist in the dissemination of regular publications to
organisers and field staff to keep them informed of developments on political
socio- economic and trade union issues locally and internationally.

11.    Policy
on a Educators Development Project

The Training of educators involves both “classroom”
work as well as fieldwork. It is envisaged that that the training programmes
will use the projects on membership, shop-stewards, state level leadership as
well as women activists as areas for practise. The educators will be drawn from
the NLC and affiliate unions. This project is a direct assistance to the
development of affiliate union education.

11.1 The NLC
Educators Forum will advice on and assist in an educator development project.

11.2 The
project should be designed in such a way that it includes both “classroom” work
as well as practice in the field.

11.3 At the
national level at least 3 persons from each union (at least one of whom must be
a woman) should be trained in the design of education materials, facilitation
skills and in the planning and management of education programmes.

11.4 At the
state level at least 4 persons from each state (at least one of whom must be a
woman) should be trained in basic facilitation skills and the use of education
materials.

12.    Policy
on Education Funding

Noting that NLC and its affiliates have limited
funds and are dependent on the support of external funders. In some cases
funders carry assumptions about what is needed, which does not relate to what
NLC have identified as its needs. This policy requests that the NLC always take
into account its own needs and education programmes when negotiating funding.

12.1 The NLC
must make strong efforts to mobilise local funds for education.

12.2 The NLC
will strive to ensure joint funding of educational programmes between the NLC
and the affiliate unions.

12.3 This conference has defined a programme for NLC education. The NLC should use this programme as the basis for negotiating funding for educational activities with funders.



NLC EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME AND ITS’ FUTURE


The Nigeria Labour Congress Educational Programmes before 2002 was mostly ad-hoc. Congress realizing that education is a very vital tool that is used in the contemporary world for development, general success and mitigate most of the challenges faced in life, transformed the education activities and institutionalized them. Having run for over 17 years, it is imperative to review the current educational Programme, to align them to meet the current realities and cope with the Changing World of Work.


The emphasis is that the current NLC educational Programme which was structured into national and state level schools has held for more than 17 years. Although an attempt was made about 3 years ago to review the Programme, however, most of the recommendations have not been implemented.


Beyond the review done 3 years back the world of
work is also changing. More so the NLC educational Programme was actually
structured to provide information on skills related to negotiating for better
pay and working conditions, promoting equality and fairness, and ensure safer
working environments but not on the issues related to the future of work, hence
to make it to continue retain its relevance, the need for further review.

What is the future of work? The New World of Work
explores how technologies like automation, robotics, and artificial
intelligence are shaping how we work, where we work, and the skills and
education we need to work. The future of work is being shaped by two powerful
forces: The growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, and
the expansion of the workforce to include both on- and off-balance-sheet
talent, and the revolution in information and communication technology. The
question to interrogate her is “what changes could be in store for the
workplace, the workforce, and the nature of work itself?

Our education system is broken. The way we educate
future generations no longer prepares them adequately for the skills and jobs
of today. The idea that you study math and science and art in your youth as
separate disciplines, and then work to solve real world problems in today’s
economy, does not add up. Therefore, preparing students for tomorrow’s jobs
requires breaking down the silos within education. Also, the NLC education
programmes should also prepare workers and participants on how to face
challenges being posed by the future of work.

The assumption that Robotics will create more jobs,
not mass unemployment — as long as we responsibly guide innovation, can only be
realistic when trade unions are prepared to make the desired changes and react
appropriately as the future of work demands. This is because new form of jobs
without adequate skills may lead to mass loss of jobs and decline in trade
union membership.

In view of the above, we need to critically examine
our educational activities and their modules to reflect the new contemporary
issues. Whatever new changes we make, we need to take into consideration the
report of the last review and consider the new issues within the context of the
future of work, such as:

1.      Climate
Change

2.      ICT

3.      Migration

4.      Online
and E-learning and training

This review should be able to restructure or affirm
the current structure of NLC educational programmes in term of the following

•       Should
the NLC retain the Schools – Rain and Harmattan Schools at national level and
State level schools?

•       Should
we continue the national schools to be five days and the state level schools to
be 10 weeks or 12 weeks annually, because two more modules will be added on
climate change and future of work?

•       What
should be the facilitation method? Do we retain the facilitation method of
getting facilitators to introduce the discussions and prompt response from
participants including group work?

•       What
about the modules? The Rain School modules are Leadership, Organizers and
Gender modules while the Harmattan school modules includes Leadership,
Organisers, Women Leadership and Educators modules. Do we retain the modules or
re-design new ones?

•       The
state level school has ten modules that is used one per week – precisely every
Wednesday. Do we add new ones to complete 12 or do we integrate the new topics
to existing modules? Do we continue to hold the State Level Schools in view of
dwindling resources?


Should the content of the modules be changed? (Please note that efforts are
being made to mobilse resources for content review). It’s also noted from the
last review that we should have a reader attached to the modules