In a world where it has long been recognised that what we focus on more often than not becomes our reality, and if not our reality then the reality of those that we leave a legacy for, let us turn our attention to educational matters and the curriculum of those that teach.We are informed by reporting agencies, and witness for ourselves, the vast number of children without access to or choosing not to access education. We also see those that teach them without access to means by which to improve their personal skills to pass on their knowledge to others. Globally, it has been estimated that in order to provide every child with inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, 68.8 million teachers, or those that deliver education, will need to be identified, selected, trained, supported and empowered to deliver the aim. Collectively for Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia this translates to the need for 14.6 million new teachers, or those that deliver education, to be found.The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development has rightly recognised that teachers are critical to the progress of education and learning. This raises an important question regarding what the teachers themselves are being taught, trained or qualified in. Do they need to be ‘qualified’ and if so to whose standard? A 2016 Global Monitoring Report eluded to the confusion between the perceptions of a trained teacher and that of a qualified teacher. It could be said that a trained teacher is trained or qualified in the discipline in which they are teaching and a qualified teacher is trained in the art of teaching. This difference may seem trivial, however research from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) data base which looked at the percentage of trained teachers by education level in 2015, indicates that there may be a correlation between the holding of both qualifications; the subject being taught and being qualified as a teacher and, that this difference affects and has an impact on teaching quality. The data also indicates that the widest discrepancies occur in low and middle-income countries.According to the 2017/18 Global Education Monitoring Report, “Globally, 86% of teachers are trained at the primary level, but the proportion is lower in Southern Asia (77%), the Caribbean (70%) and Sub-Saharan Africa (62%). In Sub-Saharan Africa, even fewer teachers are trained at the pre-primary level (36%) and secondary level (45%). Strikingly, while there has been a positive trend of increased numbers of trained teachers in many countries, in others, including Eritrea, Ghana and Niger, the percentage has decreased since 2000”. There can of course be many reasons for the decrease in percentage and it would be helpful to understand the reasons for the percentage fall.In the words of Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, “There are 264 million children and youth not going to school – this is a failure that we must tackle together, because education is a shared responsibility and progress can only be sustainable throughcommon efforts”. Let us as individuals find out how we can contribute to the solving this crisis locally where we are so that collectively we can leave this valuable legacy of education for those that will follow in our footsteps.
Lesley SheppersonShepperson & Shepperson Consultants LTD
Source: Lesley Shepperson / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.zongonews.com