UN Special Rapporteur calls on African Governments to involve Teachers Unions
Dr. Koumba Boly Barry, the special UN Rapporteur, in her message during the World Teachers Day virtual event organised by Education International Africa on the 5th of October called on African governments to engage in dialogue with education unions.
“I would also like to say that teachers and their networks are not the opponents of the governments of African countries. This message must absolutely be heard by the governments of African countries”. She said adding that teachers’ unions are rather complementary and visionary actors who know the education system well and who can advise governments, organising themselves to innovate and provide solutions to education issues. If listened to, “you will have the quality and the best governance of the education system at the continental level”, She advised.
Dr. Koumba Boly Barry highlighted three important challenges facing education today; the issue of accessibility to education which has denied “one billion human beings (258 million children and adolescents) especially those in rural areas, refugees, migrants, people living with disabilities, as well as specific groups of people such as nomads, fishermen the right to access quality education”. She also elaborated on the challenges of quality public education and governance which she said could be addressed if more space is given to the key players in the education system, more training is given to teachers, and increased financing of education.
The special rapporteur underscored the importance of the teacher in the words:
“…no one in this world, neither families, nor learners, nor communities, nor governments, nor national or international institutions or organisations can really pay a teacher what he or she brings to our humanity. The teacher takes human beings often at a young age and tries to build them, to give them the best that they have within themselves: their knowledge, their skills, their ability, but also their love.”
Watch the full event here