Throughout the day, governments from all around the world made commitments on continued education financing both at home and through contributions to the Global Partnership for Education. At its Replenishment Conference in Dakar, Senegal, governments pledged to continue making funds available to give every child the chance to go to school and to learn.
Juliet Wajega, Deputy General Secretary of Uganda’s National Teachers Union (UNATU) and member of the GPE Board, who addressed the conference on behalf of Education International, impressed the importance of teachers in achieving quality education for all on delegates. “We can meet the many challenges affecting our schools together,” she said, “but there is a massive shortage of qualified teachers. Many people will advocate for education, sitting comfortably in their offices, in the major capital cities. It is the teaching profession that is on the front line in the fight for equality and for better education for all, and our expertise is vital to efforts to improve education practice and policies.”
In a global environment where aid is stagnating, and the private sector is increasingly targeting public education systems as profitable markets, the importance of teachers and their organisations, and of Civil Society as a whole was highlighted by speakers and delegates.
“Teachers are taking the lead on this issue,” said incoming EI General Secretary David Edwards. “Our affiliates are advocating with their governments to ensure education gets the public financing it deserves. To give an example, our Canadian affiliate, the Canadian Teachers Federation, and our Swedish affiliate, Lärarförbundet, worked closely with their ministries to convince them to increase their pledges and engagement. Teachers are the most passionate advocates for quality education, and events like this show how important their contributions are.”