EI representatives attending the Seventh Meeting of the Education for All High Level Group held in Dakar, from 11-13 December, urged governments, UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral agencies, civil society organizations and other stakeholders attending the meeting to pay more attention to teacher training and recruitment.
EI was represented by Elie Jouen, Deputy General Secretary, and Dennis Sinyolo, Coordinator, Education and Employment Unit.
The meeting focused on three main critical issues, equity and inclusion, quality of education and financing. EI strongly argued that quality and inclusion could not be achieved without properly trained and qualified teachers. However, EI noted with concern that, on current trends, the number of qualified teachers will not reach the 18 million target needed worldwide to achieve the Universal Primary Education (UPE) goal alone by 2015. Hence governments, particularly in developing countries, had to train and recruit large numbers of qualified teachers.
EI called for quality initial and in-service training that balances content and pedagogy and for continuous professional development and support. The EI representatives also called for the improvement of the educators’ conditions of service, including salaries, allowances and other benefits. EI spoke strongly against the recruitment of contract teachers, calling the practice, casualisation of the teaching profession. The employment of contract teachers usually results in exploitation and job insecurity.
The next High Level Group Meeting will be held in Oslo, Norway, from 16-18 December 2008.