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Ensure full monitoring of educational targets in SDGs, global body warns

Published:Saturday | November 10, 2018 | 2:11 PM

The International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 (Teacher Task Force) has urged its international partners to intensify efforts to develop robust definitions and classifications for qualified and trained teachers.

The group is also encouraging stakeholders to strengthen cooperation and reporting mechanisms to ensure full monitoring of the targets established under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The taskforce held discussions, during a series of meetings in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from November 5-9, on the theme: “Strengthening Teacher Education: A Prerequisite for Quality Teaching, Training and Learning”.

Arising from the discussions, there were several recommendations that will be submitted for consideration at the Global Education Meeting scheduled to be held in Brussels next month.

One of the recommendations by the taskforce is for governments to ensure adequate financing for all public goods, including the teacher workforce.

This, it suggested, should be achieved primarily through the mobilisation of domestic resources based on fiscal policies that are “socially just” as well as rigorous measures against corruption and illegal financial flows, efficient and effective teacher policies and deployment practises that are developed with the full involvement of teachers and their organisations.

The taskforce also expressed the view that the future of education will be marked by rapid changes in globalisation, migration, demographic change, and technological advances, thereby creating opportunities and challenges for learners and teachers.

At the same time, it said that these developments will be framed by increasing concerns about climate change and environmental sustainability.

Noting that teachers share the tremendous responsibility of preparing future generations to address these challenges, the task force reasoned that teacher education, from selection of candidates through pre-service training to induction and continuous professional development, was essential in the preparation of a motivated, highly-skilled, qualified, and adequately-staffed teaching force.

“High-quality teacher education is an effective means of increasing the attractiveness of the profession and thereby its status,” the group emphasised.

The taskforce posited that teacher education has not kept pace with preparing new teachers for these challenges and suggested that teacher education:

* Be provided by accredited institutions, staffed with qualified teacher educators who have both a theoretical and practical mastery of the teaching profession;

* Be based on a well-defined professional competency profiles for teachers and teacher educators;

* Be accessible and affordable, and, progressively free;

* Draw from high-achieving secondary and tertiary graduates, to ensure high     quality of students;

* Ensure diversity and equality among teacher educators;

* Adequately prepare teachers to teach basic and foundational skills;

* Adequately prepare teachers to teach skills, knowledge, and values relevant to the changing world, including digital technologies and artificial intelligence, relevant interpersonal skills, new methods of learning, and socio-emotional development.

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