Invest in teachers
As the world celebrated the World Teachers Day (WTD) on 5th October 2022, EI Africa joined education ministers, senior education officials, educators, civil society organisations and other stakeholders from 39 African countries at the African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
In his remarks, Dr. Dennis Sinyolo, Regional Director of Education International (EI) Africa, mentioned that teachers are not only policy implementers but agents of change. “They impact communities and inspire children and young people to learn, to protect the planet, to solve societal problems, to adapt to new situations, to create and innovate”, he stressed.
‘We welcome the decision made by the United Nations at the Transforming Education Summit to set up a Global Commission on Teachers”, he said. He went on to urge governments to fulfil the commitments they have made at the Summit, insisting that these must be pursued and fulfilled. “Teacher unions around the world are currently assessing these commitments and giving them a grade”, he added.
The celebrations were part of the KIX Continental Research Symposium organized under the theme ‘Knowledge and innovations in teaching’ by UNESCO IICBA and partners.
The UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay encouraged governments around the world to step up their support for teachers if the profession is to retain its workforce and attract new talent.
“Lack of training, unattractive working conditions and inadequate funding all undermine the teaching profession and aggravate the global learning crisis,” said Ms Azoulay. “There is an urgent need to better recognize this profession on which the future of our children depends.”
Sinyolo highlighted that to revitalise the teaching profession in Africa, governments must: train and recruit enough teachers; trust and respect them; equip and empower them to use technology; make teaching an attractive and first choice profession; engage in genuine social and policy dialogue.
He stressed that, while technology can be a powerful for teaching and learning, it should not replace teachers. He urged the African Union and governments to regulate data costs, for the benefit of educators and students. In his concluding remarks, Sinyolo encouraged African governments to demonstrate clear political will and commitment by investing in education and teachers now.
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