Statement to the G20 Education and Employment Ministers

published 24 August 2018 updated 27 August 2018

As the voice of the world’s educators, we welcome the inclusion of education as a priority for the G20, and hope the commitment to education will be ensured moving forward into Japan in 2019.

The Critical Role of Education and Teachers

As the voice of the world’s educators, we welcome the inclusion of education as a priority for the G20, and hope the commitment to education will be ensured moving forward into Japan in 2019.

This commitment is critical, as education is fundamental for all people to develop their potential as human beings and empowered citizens, and is the means to an  inclusive, democratic, peaceful and  sustainable future.  The fourth industrial revolution and the ever changing world will require newskills, both for life and work. Basic and post-basic education, including technical, vocational education and training (TVET) can empower young people and adults to solve problems, innovate create and adapt to newcircumstances.

The G20 commitment to quality education cannot be genuine without a commitment to teachers. Quality education depends on quality teaching, delivered by competent, well-supported and motivated teachers and education support personnel. To unleash the full power of education and individual potential the G20 must invest in quality teachers, teaching and learning.

The Urgent Need for Teachers

UNESCO’s 2017/18 Global Education Monitoring Report estimates that 69 million new teachers will be needed to meet universal primary and secondary education goals across the globe by 2030.

A serious and sustained investment in the teaching profession is pivotal and urgent if the international community is to meet the goal of having all children and youth in school and learning by 2030 (Sustainable Development Goal- SDG 4). In many G20 countries the ageing teacher workforce and subsequent losses due to retirement, is also a serious challenge leading to teacher shortages.

The G20 must invest in education and teachers, including teacher training, professional development, and attractive working conditions. A pledge to improve the quality, attractiveness and status of the teaching profession is key to recruiting a new generation of inspired educators.

The G20 must also commit to strengthen mechanisms for social dialogue and implement the provisions of the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (1966) and the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997).

Finally, as representatives of a profession dedicated to children and youth and an organization committed to human rights, we believe that quality education should be equitable and accessible to all, with a particular focus on quality learning for the marginalised and the vulnerable. We must ensure all have access to free, quality early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary education that contributes to the full development of the individual and fully equips them to participate in society as active and global citizens.

Key Measures to Improve Teacher Quality and Status

Increase the supply of qualified teachers:

Expand the opportunities for initial teacher education, in-service training and professional development. This should be accompanied bymeasures designed to make teaching a first-choice profession for youngpeople.

Improving the remuneration, terms of employment, working conditions and professional status of teachers will help boost the public image and attractiveness of the teachingprofession.

Motivate and support teachers:

National governments need to empower and  support  teachers  to develop by providing relevant levels of autonomy and responsibility. This involves a career progression and support framework with appropriate accountability mechanisms created in collaboration with teachers and theirorganisations.

Recruit and retain quality teachers:

Given persistent teacher shortages, particularly in developing countries, and the aging population of educators in many OECD and other countries, the G20 should prioritise training, recruiting and retaining an adequate teaching force that is more diverse and representative, particularly of disadvantaged communities.

Invest in education and teachers:

Inclusive free quality public education for all can only be achieved with an investment of the necessary resources in education and teachers, coupled with adequate and predictable external financing and support, particularly for lower and lower-middle income countries. In line with minimum international funding benchmarks, governments should allocate at least 6% of GDP or 20% of the national budget to education. G20 countries should also pay their fair share of development aid and supportdeveloping countries to meet Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education and other relevant SDG and educationtargets.

Develop/strengthen professional teaching standards:

Strengthening professional teaching standards and teacher professionalism can help raise teacher quality and effectiveness. Such standards should be developed with the full involvement of educators and their unions.

Strengthen continuous professional development:

All teachers and educators, including school leaders and education support personnel, should receive free quality and government-funded continuous professional development that is relevant to their professional development needs. Governments should also create opportunities for teachers and school leaders to collaborate, as this has a positive impact on teacher motivation, quality teaching and studentlearning.

Set up/strengthen social and policy dialogue mechanisms:

In line with international human rights treaties, international labour standards and the Education 2030 Framework for Action, G20 governments and education authorities should set up/strengthen mechanisms for institutionalised social and policy dialogue with teachers, education support personnel and their representative organisations, ensuring their full participation in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of education policy.

Make Education a Priority

As the voice of the teaching profession globally, Education International urges  the G20 to continue  to make education  a priority, and to commit    to a serious investment in the teachers who make inclusive quality education a reality everyday.