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EFA Flagship Initiatives


Teachers and the Quality of Education


The joint ILO/UNESCO publication A Statistical Profile of the Teaching Profession (Geneva, 2002) highlights the generally lamentable training and working conditions of teachers, and the burgeoning global teacher shortage. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in its policy brief Primary Teachers Count (Montreal, 2002), estimated that 15 to 35 million additional primary school teachers will be needed to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and the Dakar Goals.


This flagship aims at:

Initiating a social dialogue process among education authorities and teachers associations, among other stakeholders, in order to contribute to an improvement of teachers' status materially and socially through review of policy, legislation, and administrative decisions. (cf. Dakar Framework for Action- EFA strategy ix: "Enhance the status, morale and professionalism of teachers").

Promoting the involvement of teachers and their organizations in the formulation and implementation of the EFA national action plans.

Promoting quality teaching and sound learning environments by improving the conditions of teacher recruitment, education, appraisal and remuneration.

A concept agreed upon by partners foresees a pilot phase in a few countries to test the validity of the concepts and strategies of the flagship. Different criteria are established:

Country commitment to the flagship objective,

Complementarity with overall EFA goals,

Linkages with the objectives of Poverty Reduction Strategy Plans, Millennium Development Goals and UNDAF in the countries of operation,

A favourable climate for social dialogue.


To reach the flagship objectives, activities consist of:

Developing situation analysis in depth through national case studies on aspects of teacher status and professional development for quality improvement in EFA programmes

Strengthening high quality and relevant professional standards for initial teacher education and lifelong professional development,

Establishing a sub regional inter-ministerial, inter-sectoral process for enriching the quality of teacher education reform in sub regions,

Achieving adequate teacher salary levels comparable to skilled national levels,

Ensuring appropriate teacher recruitment and deployment to meet educational demand (geographic and subjects areas),

Improving quality teaching and learning environments (adequate infrastructure, appropriate class sizes),

Developing and maintaining high professional standards for teaching,

Strengthening and institutionalizing social dialogue mechanisms between education authorities and teachers' education, and

The gender dimension integrated in all the activities.



This initiative is a partnership between ILO, UNESCO and Education International. ILO and UNESCO are responsible for improving teacher status, morale and professionalism from the perspective of the United Nations whereas Education International adopts the perspective of the teachers' associations.

Contact Information

Richard Halperin
Section for Teacher Education
Division of Higher Education
Education Sector
7, place Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07,
Phone : +33 (0)1 45 68 08 23
Fax : +33 (0) 1 45 68 56 25