Educators united to fully fund public education

published 9 February 2023 updated 10 February 2023

David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International, raised the alarm on the growing global teacher shortage and called for increased public education funding in his speech at the launch event of Education International's new global campaign, Go Public! Fund Education.

"The alarming and growing global teacher shortage is threatening the right to education everywhere. This shortage denies our students their right to learn, it denies them the bright futures they deserve", Edwards stated. "The causes are well known to us. The teacher shortage is a direct consequence of the imposition of failed neoliberal policies: austerity measures, a lack of investment in teachers, and the privatization of education."

For Edwards, the solution to the worldwide shortage of teachers is clear: increasing public education funding, investing in teachers, guaranteeing labour rights and ensuring good working conditions. "We need manageable workloads and competitive salaries. We need to value teachers, respect teachers, we need to ensure they are central to decision-making, and we need to trust their pedagogical expertise."

Edwards went on to explain that the Go Public! Fund Education campaign will support the efforts of education unions everywhere to improve pay, working conditions, and ensure the respect educators deserve. "We will stand united and mobilise to pressure governments to fully fund public education and invest in the teaching profession."

In this respect, the creation of a Global Commission on the Teaching Profession, a High-Level Expert Group to address the global teacher shortage, announced at the United Nations Transforming Education Summit of 2022, represents "a key opportunity to organize and mobilize as unions and as a profession to advance our policy objectives and empower our profession."

"Education International will be the voice of the profession, your voice, to make sure teachers and education workers are at the table every step of the way."

Edwards called on all Education International's member organisations to join the campaign as they mobilise in their local context. “We need to mobilize at the local, national, regional, and global level so that all governments commit to funding public education to make sure we have the working conditions we need to teach and our students have the environment they need to learn.”

See David Edward’s full message below.