7th International Policy Dialogue Forum
|When:||Monday, December 15, 2014 - 00:00 - Friday, December 19, 2014 - 23:00|
Providing education opportunities to all children, youth and adults is a basic human right and a lever of national and global development. Teachers play a central role in this provision. The Oslo Declaration - an outcome of the Eighth Meeting of the High Level Group on Education for All (EFA) held in Oslo (Norway) in December 2008 - endorsed the creation of an International Task Force on Teachers for Education for All (EFA). The Task Force is a voluntary global alliance of EFA partners working together to address the acute shortage of qualified and well-resourced teachers required to achieve Universal Primary Education (UPE) by 2015, as well as quality education for all.
The Task Force aims at strengthening its activities in the areas of advocacy and policy analysis, as well as in support to countries for data collection, evidence-based policy making, and the establishment of strong partnerships to improve the quality of educational systems. The Task Force is built on the principle of promoting coordination among international and regional efforts to develop and strengthen national policies on teachers to help improve the performance of education systems by addressing the shortage of qualified teachers. To this end, whenever its annual meeting gathers, the Task Force organizes policy dialogue fora, which serve as a platform where all stakeholders share their experiences on how they deal with teacher-related challenges.
The seventh Policy Dialogue Forum to be held in Rabat (Morocco) in December 2014 is the first forum under the second phase of the Strategic Plan 2014-2016 of the Task Force. The Forum will focus on sharing relevant policies, practices and tools among international key stakeholders with a view to facilitating the understanding, implementation and monitoring of the teacher-related target in the post-2015 international education agenda. It will thereby provide inputs to the development of the framework of action on the target and the Education agenda, which will be discussed at the 2015 World Education Forum in Korea. The seventh Policy Dialogue Forum will be held soon after the release of the United Nations Secretary General's Synthesis Report on sustainable development goals and comes before the negotiation phase of the post-2015 process, which is expected to start early in 2015. Meanwhile, the Technical Advisory Group of the EFA Steering Committee working on indicators has come up with its preliminary report. Building on these developments, the Forum aims to make concrete recommendations on teachers for the monitoring of post-2015 education agenda.
Furthermore, under the Strategic Plan 2014-2016, the Teacher Task Force coordinates the Technical Reference Group (TRG) on Teacher Effectiveness for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The objective is to provide advisory and technical support in order to strengthen teacher components in education sector plans in GPE-supported countries through collaboration with Local Education Groups (LEG) and by bringing the experiences and knowledge from the broad network of the Task Force. At the Policy Dialogue Forum 2014, the role of the Task Force as the coordinator of the TRG of the GPE will be discussed and clarified.
Why a Policy Dialogue Forum on teachers in post-2015 international education agenda?
With the deadline for the EFA goals less than one year away, the international community, aware of unmet challenges and emerging ones, as well as opportunities, has been debating the education we want for a global sustainable development after 2015 in various international arenas. Teachers are recognized as pivotal in the achievement of quality and equitable education, and sustainable development. However, there remain daunting gaps with regards to the provision of this needed teaching force, as evidenced by the analysis in the EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2013/4:
- Shortage of trained teachers: Globally, 1.6 million additional teachers are needed to achieve universal primary education by 2015. In a third of countries with data, less than 75% of teachers are trained according to national standards.
- Overcrowded classrooms: In 2011, in 26 countries there were over 40 pupils per teacher in primary school classrooms.
- Insecure contracts: Over the past decade, teachers have increasingly been hired on short term, insecure contracts in order to quickly fill the gaps. In West Africa, contract teachers made up half the teaching force by the mid-2000s.
- Inadequate salaries: Teachers in some developing countries don't earn enough to lift their households above the poverty line. Average teacher salaries are below US$10 per day in 8 countries.
The EFA GMR 2013/4 puts the spotlight on the importance of implementing policies to unlock the potential of teachers so as to support them in overcoming the global learning crisis. The Report proposes strategies that governments should adapt to:
- Attract and retain the best teachers;
- Improve teacher education;
- Allocate teachers more fairly; and
- Provide incentives in the form of appropriate salaries and attractive career paths.
It also highlights the areas of teacher governance that need to be strengthened to ensure that the benefits of these strategies are realized.
At the Global EFA Meeting (GEM) held in Muscat, Oman in May 2014, ministers, heads of delegations, leading officials of multilateral and bilateral organizations, and senior representatives of civil society and private sector organizations adopted the Muscat Agreement, with two key dimensions:
- An overarching goal of the post-2015 education agenda, aiming to "Ensure equitable and inclusive quality education and lifelong learning for all by 2030" as the overarching goal and
- The translation of this goal into global targets, for which minimum global benchmarks and relevant indicators will be identified and/or developed.
One of the seven targets mentioned in the Muscat Agreement is related to teacher: "Target 6: By 2030, all governments ensure that all learners are taught by qualified, professionally-trained, motivated and well-supported teachers."
The Open Working Group (OWG), which was established in January 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly based on the outcome document ("the Future We Want") of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 ("Rio+20"), proposed goals and targets on sustainable development for the Post-2015 development agenda. The latest draft goals proposed by the OWG as of July 2014 include a teacher-related target: "Goal 4.c: by 2030 increase by x% the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing states".
As a multi-stakeholder and multi-constituency alliance of partners, the Task Force takes it as its prime responsibility to facilitate the understanding of key teacher-related issues to unpack for effective and efficient policies at national and global levels in this critical period. Furthermore, as the coordinator of the strategic objective on teacher effectiveness in the Global Partnership for Education's Strategic Plan 2012-2015, the Task Force aims to collect and provide information and tools to guide countries implement and monitor their teacher policies.
Objectives of the Policy Dialogue Forum and participants
The objectives of the Policy Dialogue Forum 2014 are:
- To share relevant knowledge, experiences and tools on how teacher targets and indicators could be developed to implement and monitor national teacher policies.
- To gather inputs for concrete recommendations on teachers for the development of the framework for action, which will be discussed at the 2015 World Education Forum in Korea.
- To reach consensus on recommendations for actions to be pursued at country, regional and/or international levels with regard to teacher effectiveness.
- To identify ways of enhancing collaboration and partnership among various teacher stakeholders at country, regional and/or international levels with a view to achieving the teacher-related target in post-2015 international education agenda.
The whole membership of the International Task Force on Teachers for EFA is invited to the forum. This includes a diverse representation of national governments, global and regional intergovernmental organizations, international nongovernmental organizations, development agencies, private companies and foundations. International experts will also participate.