World: Regional Bureau for West & Central Africa Bi-Weekly Education Newsletter, October 3, 2019

Business Canada Health Science Tech UK World

Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their teaching and learning conditions.
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, and the dedicated target (SDG 4.c) recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the Education 2030 agenda, WTD has become the occasion to mark progress and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession.
In 2016, UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) estimated that by 2030, countries would need to recruit an additional 3.4 million primary and 16.7 million secondary school teachers in order to address the quality gaps SDG4 seeks to close. As refugees tend to settle alongside the more vulnerable in host communities, finding ways to not only recruit and retain significant numbers of teachers but to ensure that they reach neighbourhoods and regions where students and schools experience the greatest challenges to quality education could become one of the most important opportunities available through improved articulation between domestic, humanitarian and development action in crisis affected regions.“The right teacher equipped with the right tools can make a child positive and enthusiastic about the school day; conversely, poor teaching and supervision can be highly demotivating, which, when added to myriad other pressures at this age, leads to high dropout rates”.Teachers are the most important school-level factor for student learning. This is particularly true in crisis affected settings where a teacher may be the only resource available for students to learn. Yet they frequently lack the support, training, and resources they need to provide quality education for their students.
The gender gap among teachers is another issue often worsened in refugee settings, especially at secondary level. For example, in Chad 98% of teachers in pre-primary are female, but at secondary this figure drops to only 7%. For girls, a lack of female teachers can spell the end of their secondary education as some conservative communities may not allow them to be taught by a man. Female teachers help girls to feel more comfortable in the classroom, especially should they need to report incidents of sexual harassment or abuse. Most important of all, a female role model can inspire and support girls to complete their studies, and even motivate them to become teachers themselves.
In order to be adequately prepared to learn and succeed in national education systems, refugee children and youth should be taught by teachers who have been sufficiently trained to effectively include them, taking into account their specific strengths, backgrounds and diverse learning requirements.
The upcoming Global Refugee Forum will be an opportunity for countries, partners and donors to pledge for supporting teacher training that will equip teachers, including refugee teachers, to use varied forms of pedagogy to support their students’ learning, including inclusive and participatory pedagogies and skills to adapt curricula as needed to meet student needs.

Leave a Reply