Key messages

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1-The teacher gap has to be filled.

The world needs 6.8 million more teachers just to achieve Universal Primary Education and 114 out of 208 countries need to increase the size of their teaching corps before 2015.

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2-Special measures are needed to attract, train and retain teachers in poor and remote communities.

The acute shortage of qualified teachers is entrenching disadvantages suffered by children in these areas.

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3-Teacher policies have to be gender-responsive.

Gender-responsiveness of teacher policies has a positive impact on learners’ access to and completion of education, as well as on women’s and men’s participation in the teaching force. The enrolment of girls in secondary education is higher in countries with high proportions of female teachers in primary education.

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4-Teachers are critical to ensuring the quality of education.

The highest performing education systems prioritize teacher quality and pay close attention to attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers.

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5-Teachers are key to solving the learning crisis.

250 million children of primary school age are not learning the basics, whether they are in school or not. Qualified, well-trained teachers are the most important resource for improving learning, especially for the disadvantaged.

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6-The best teachers should teach in early grades.

Ensuring that children achieve the basic foundations in the early grades is crucial for overcoming disadvantages and facilitating later learning.

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7-Teacher training needs to respond to 21st century challenges.

Teacher training needs to provide teachers with the subject knowledge and teaching skills needed to facilitate learning that equips learners with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours needed for just, equitable and peaceful societies. Teachers can be agents of change in their communities.

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8-The language of the learners needs to be taken into account in teacher training and recruitment.

Mother-tongue instruction is a key factor for inclusion and quality in education and research shows that mother-tongue based bilingual or multilingual approaches have a positive impact on learning outcomes.

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9-Teachers need to be supported.

In-service training and continuous professional development can make a significant difference to teachers’ classroom performance and hence to children’s learning. Unqualified teachers need special support.

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10 -Teachers deserve our respect.

The teaching profession should be recognized and rewarded as a form of public service that requires expert knowledge and specialized skills, acquired and maintained through rigorous and continuous study. The status and working conditions of teachers should be improved and protected in line with the recommendations of international legal frameworks.

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