The logo for Education International


The Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) is a member of Education International (EI), a global union federation of teachers’ unions from over 159 countries. In fact, the Secretary General of UNATU James Tweheyo sits on the board of Education International. It has now been uncovered that EI is campaigning for its members including UNATU to recognize homosexual or lesbian teachers who are teaching in schools. EI is pushing for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) teachers to be promoted and embraced by all members signatory to the organization and that means to be promoted in Uganda. It is disheartening that the very institution that should be championing promotion of moral values in schools is instead used to promote gay rights by a foreign firm.

As you navigate the Education International website, you cannot help but notice statements like schools should provide teaching materials that encourage the respect of human rights of all and that deal with the LGBT rights.

Education union’s promotion of LGBT has been emphasized and promoted during several meetings and conferences. One of the meeting was held in Sweden’s capital Stockhom in 2003 where the Head of Education International, Secretary General Fred Van Leeuwen, who is himself a homosexual, presented a paper entitled “Pushing the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues”.

During the presentation, Mr. Van Leeuwen, made clear EI’s strategic efforts in empowering teachers to speak out their sexual orientation: “I believe teachers should be open about being gay or lesbian. Today our students are led to believe that they are being taught only by heterosexuals – or worse, by non-sexuals. Many of us would rather pretend neutrality than to reveal what is perhaps the most rudimentary element of our personalities. Yet, we want to help students cope with discovering their own sexual orientation. The LGBT education activist said.

As he concluded this remarks to the delegates, the Secretary General made recommendations that he wanted members to implement once they return to their home countries. “I see three important tasks for national education unions in particular;” he said “Number one is of course to protect their gay and lesbian members….If we believe that teachers have the right to be open about being gay or lesbian we must create the environment in which they can be themselves.”

Part of the funding that Education International in partnership with Public Service International gives to its members is to ensure that gay and lesbian teachers are given the opportunity to freely express themselves not only before other staff members but also before children. This is captured in Van Leeuwen’s concluding remarks at the Stockholm conference.

“Education unions must promote and help develop education programs aimed at fighting intolerance and prejudice….,We do not want gays and lesbians to be tolerated; we want them to be respected and to be recognized as equals. Nothing more, nothing less.”

As a member organization, UNATU has to play by the rules that have been set by the world body. Therefore, secretly, UNATU seeks to identify if there are any members of the union who are gay. If they are any, they follow the recommendation of the EL world congress. Secretly, they support gay men teaching our boys and girls, secretly they support men who dress as women, teaching our children. This is not acceptable in Uganda and enough is enough.

Against this new revelation, there are many questions than answers. How can we trust an organization that is funded to promote gay and lesbian teachers with our children and Ugandan education decisions? What happens to our children when they are at school? Is UNATU encouraging homosexuality in our schools to justify the funds they receive from Education International. Why should Uganda and its Government, allow an organization lead by a gay man in Europe to have any say over what we teach our children and the moral values of Ugandans.

Recently, UNATU Secretary General James Tweheyo accused people of ‘teaching our children things that might be against our moral values’ What he was talking about, I have no idea but what is more immoral than being funded to let gay and lesbian teachers promote their immoral values among our Ugandan children? And been affiliated to an organization that promotes this.

There is no doubt that these LGBT teachers could easily persuade our children to join their clubs. What happens when an LGBT teacher gets attracted any of the students or pupils? What explanation will you give to a parent who finds out that their children are gay because of a teacher at their school?

Mr. Tweheyo and Mr Van Leeuwen, in Uganda, we have values that we respect as a society, we as a people have norms that we respect. We shall not by any chance accept the promotion of homosexuality and lesbians in our schools and we do not think an organization based in Brussels should have influence in Uganda about what happens in our schools. We do not think that the head of UNATU should be involved with EI, sit on its board, or promote its homosexual agenda. That is not what we want in Uganda.

Before UNATU ties itself up any further with Education International, as Ugandans we should ask our Government to stop it and stop Education International being allowed to operate in our country. If parents and teachers knew what Education International wanted to be taught in Ugandan schools and what UNATU as a member is pushing, they would be horrified and all those that work in education should stand up against this vice that is slowly eating away our moral fabric by recruiting our children into these acts in schools.


The writer, who sought anonymity for fear of reprisal, is a teacher