In the face of the global economic crisis, it is vitally important that governments invest significantly in public education, making it a cornerstone of economic recovery plans. Education International, the global union federation representing 30 million teachers around the world, is appealing to the international community to take urgent action to ensure that children are not made to pay for the crisis.
"The right to education of a whole generation of children has been put at risk by those whose greed and irresponsibility created the crisis," said Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of EI. “As teachers and trade unionists we intend to do our utmost to ensure their opportunities to learn are not jeopardised. But governments too must do their part by putting into place the policies and funding necessary to bridge the global teacher gap.” World Teachers’ Day, October 5, is marked annually to celebrate the immense contribution made by the world’s approximately 55 million teachers to their students, schools and societies. This year Education International, the International Labour Organisation, UNESCO, UNDP and UNICEF have issued a joint statement calling upon governments, communities, national and international institutions everywhere to act decisively to achieve Education for All. In addition, they are seeking mechanisms that protect teachers and ensure that education investments match demand at all levels of education. "There is an acute shortage of qualified and trained teachers, especially in the developing world where enrolments at all levels are increasing. It is estimated that 2.4 million teachers (1.2 million new teacher posts) will be needed between 2007 and 2015 in sub-Saharan Africa alone to achieve Universal Primary Education. Lack of training, professional development and growing recruitment on a contract basis weaken education quality. But the profession is also gravely affected by poverty, the HIV and AIDS pandemic, natural disasters, conflict and violence against teachers in school," according to the statement. For the full text, please go to: www.unesco.org/en/education. On World Teachers’ Day, do you want to say "Thank you" to a teacher who made a difference in your life? Electronic greeting cards are available on: www.5oct.org. On the site, you can also view and upload photos of your World Teachers' Day activities and read the “tweets” about celebrations in different countries across the world. Media contact: Monique Fouilhoux, Deputy General Secretary, + 32.2.224.06.11, [email protected]