EDUCATION TEAMWORK IS KEY TO TACKLING THE LEARNING CRISIS 

 

New York/ London/ Accra, September 23, 2019- On the second week of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, the Education Commission’s latest report - Transforming the Education Workforce: Learning Teams for a Learning Generation - makes a case for teamwork as a key to educating the world’s children.  

 

With only 10 years remaining until the UN’s Agenda 2030 deadline to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all, the world is at serious risk of not achieving this goal. 

 

According to UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Education Commission Chair Gordon Brown: “We don’t just have a climate emergency, we have an education emergency. Today 260 million children are not in school and more than 600 million children in school are not learning the basics. Unless we take drastic measures, half of the world’s children – 800 million – will not be on track to learn the skills needed to thrive in 2030. To address this learning crisis, we urgently need to recruit 69 million teachers and provide them with the training and support they need.” 

 

Teacher quality is the most important determinant of learning outcomes at the school level. But in many countries teachers are in short supply, isolated, and not supported to provide effective teaching and learning. To meet the demand for teachers, an estimated 69 million teachers must be recruited globally –76 percent of these in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In some countries, even where there are teachers, many are poorly trained or unqualified. In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 45 percent of teachers in secondary schools are trained to teach.  

 

Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Secretary of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development – the report’s funder –says, “a top priority for education systems around the world is the need for more and better trained teachers.” The report emphasizes the need to professionalize teachers and other key roles with appropriate recruitment, training, professional development, career paths, and working conditions to enable them to be effective. 

 

But teachers cannot deliver quality education alone – it takes a team to educate a child. Teachers need leadership and support to be effective and to reach the most vulnerable. This report envisions learning teams that tap the potential of the broader education workforce – school and district leaders, specialists, learning assistants, community experts, entrepreneurs, health and welfare professionals, parents, volunteers, and many others – to work together to help all children succeed. Teams of professionals are commonplace in health but why not in education? 

 

South Korea’s former Minister of Education and Education Commissioner Ju-Ho Lee states: “Most education systems were designed during the Industrial Revolution to bring education to the masses. Now, more than 150 years later, we need an education workforce and systems that can respond to the rapid changes in today’s world – demographic shifts, environmental changes, scientific advances, and technological innovation.” The report proposes a vision for creating education systems that harness new opportunities, adapt, and continually evolve so students are equipped with the skills they need to succeed. 

 

The report, a direct response to the Education Commission’s Learning Generation report recommendation to strengthen and diversify the workforce, is the result of 18 months of research with dozens of organizations around the world. It brings existing evidence, new innovations, promising examples from other sectors, and fresh thinking to propose three visions for strengthening the existing education workforce, developing learning teams, and building learning systems fit for the future. 

 

As the report’s leadership team – Ju-Ho Lee, Education International President Susan Hopgood, and African Women’s Development Fund CEO Theo Sowa write in the report’s foreword: “The unmet promise to the world’s children for universal quality education demands a transformative response. The evidence, innovations, and vision of building collaborative learning teams for a learning generation outlined in the report are a good start.” 

 

To download the report, please click HERE

 

 

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