International campaign for UN World Teachers Day
7th October 2019
UNESCO World Teacher’s Day was first launched in 1994. Now, after a quarter of a century of efforts to help teachers, millions of teachers are still without the support and training they need to succeed.
A new international campaign - #TeachersTransformLives - has been launched on World Teacher’s Day to focus attention on how it is possible to deliver high quality support for teachers in developing countries. All schools can be powerful public schools if their teachers have the right training and are empowered to succeed in the classroom.
Today, most children in the world are not reaching basic levels of reading and maths by the time they should be finishing primary school. This has led the World Bank and UNICEF to consider the global learning crisis as more of a global teaching crisis.
To help address this, the new initiative will raise awareness of teachers who already are well supported to help children learn, even in the most challenging places. The campaign highlights teachers from impoverished communities whose experience of teaching has been transformed due to proper training and support. They demonstrate first hand that teachers on the front line of this silent teaching skills crisis can change lives and improve outcomes if supported effectively.
In several Sub-Saharan Africa countries the average teacher does not perform much better on reading tests than the highest-performing Grade 6 or 12-year-old pupils. In six such countries 40% of primary school teachers are not as knowledgeable as their pupils should be. According to the World Bank, teachers in low and middle-income countries often lack the skills or motivation to teach effectively. This lack of quality teaching is linked to poor outcomes, school drop-outs and long term out-of-school children.
Ultimately, the quality of education delivered is tied to how well a teacher is set up to succeed in her classroom. The status-quo the world over is that teachers are often held accountable for outcomes without always being given the support and coaching they need to develop and grow their teaching practice. We need to support, train and empower teachers to succeed in the classroom Then, and only then, should we hold them accountable for delivering on student learning gains.
Teachers can be more effective if they are equipped with the training, coaching and support designed to improve student learning outcomes. A lot can be accomplished to propel teacher development and growth if existing national budgets are put to use effectively. Skilled, motivated teachers are the foundation for improving education systems. The quality of a nation's education cannot exceed the quality of its educators. Only with an intentional, well-planned investment in teacher development, can the UN goal of quality education for all by 2030 — SDG4 — be achieved.
There remains a global shortage of over 68 million teachers, making the learning crisis both a quantity and quality issue for communities, governments and every sector helping to address the challenge.
This video: I am a better teacher now: Teachers Transform Lives shows the story of Prince, who is a Government teacher in Liberia and how he has developed his teaching techniques thanks to good quality support and training.
Follow this link for more information about the campaign and to watch the teachers’ stories or search for #TeachersTransformLives on social media.
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