» International conference examines the use of contract teachers in sub-Saharan Africa
17.06.2016 - Education Sector

International conference examines the use of contract teachers in sub-Saharan Africa

©UNESCOPhoto: Marise Sagna

A conference to take stock of the reliance on contract teachers in sub-Saharan Africa is being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 20-24 June 2016.

Worldwide the number of out-of-school children has fallen by 50 per cent leading to a growing demand for new teachers. This gap is often filled by recruiting contract teachers i.e. those teachers who work outside an “employment relationship”, are hardly trained to be teachers, receive a salary but have no other benefits like paid leave, pension or health insurance.

As a result, not all learners are taught by teachers with the appropriate training, professional qualification and motivation and the teaching force itself includes individuals with a diversity of support and status.

The phenomenon has taken on significant proportions in sub-Saharan Africa where governments, development partners, teacher educators and researchers, teachers and teacher organizations, communities, parents and students themselves are concerned by the profile of the individuals entrusted with education in schools.

The International Conference on the Use of Contract Teachers, which expects more than 100 participants, will examine findings from a review carried out on the use of contract teachers in 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Understanding the issue of contract teachers is a key to developing the body of professionals required to deliver education opportunities for all in Africa, and the conference offers the opportunity to share experiences among education professionals and policy-makers in the region and other regions of the world,” says Edem Adubra, UNESCO Chief of Section of Teacher Development and Secretariat of the International Task Force on Teachers.

The conference is jointly organized by the Teacher Task Force, the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), the African Union Commission, the Organisation International de la Francophonie (OIF), the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and Education International (EI).

Teachers central to achieving Education 2030 Agenda

The five-day event will include group sessions on pre-service and in-service teacher training, financing education focusing on the use of contract teachers, recruitment and deployment of teachers, evaluation of the performance of teachers, promoting social dialogue on teachers and teaching and teacher motivation
 
UNESCO and the International Teacher Task force work together to address the “teacher gap” Every three years UNESCO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) meets to monitor the application of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (1966) and the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997).

To raise the profile on teaching issues every year on 5 October UNESCO celebrates World Teachers’ Day along with its partners ILO, UNDP, UNICEF and Education International.

Every two years UNESCO awards the UNESCO-Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers to three  projects which aim at improving worldwide the performance and effectiveness of teachers.

Teachers are central to the provision of quality education which, in turn, is key to the realisation of the new Education 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 4. The goal, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” can only be achieved if educational systems are supported by a qualified teaching force.




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