Posted by: APO | 4 October 2007

End recruitment of non-professional teachers says ActionAid

End recruitment of non-professional teachers says ActionAid


Properly trained professional teachers need to be recruited across the world if children are to fulfil their right to quality education, said ActionAid to mark International Teacher’s Day this Friday (October 5).


With more children enrolling in school then ever before, more teachers are urgently needed. Globally, over 18 million new teachers will be needed by 2015 if all children are to learn in acceptable class sizes.


But many governments are seeking low cost solutions, employing untrained teachers instead of trained professionals.


These non-professional teachers can be employed for a third of a proper teacher’s salary. Most have no employment rights and are not allowed to join unions.


In India over 500,000 such teachers have been recruited in recent years. In some rural areas of Senegal, eight out of every ten teachers are untrained – and there is growing resentment about the low standard of their teaching.


Speaking at a high level meeting to celebrate World Teacher’s Day at UNESCO in Paris, David Archer, Head of Education at ActionAid said:


“This cheap labour, low quality solution is directly connected to the IMF policies placing limits on government wage bills paying for teachers.”


“The IMF treats spending on education as short-term consumption as if it is money down the drain, rather than recognising spending on trained teachers as one of the soundest long term economic investments a country can make.”


The effect of these IMF policies is to create a dual system in education across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Urban schools attract the trained teachers – while children in many rural schools are taught by untrained teachers who are barely literate.


“Education ought to be an equalising force in society. By using untrained teachers, governments are undermining this basic goal and destroying the integrity of the teaching profession, said Victorine Kemonou Djitrinou, coordinating ActionAid’s education campaign.


Once you spread the idea that anyone can teach, without training, few people will opt for it as a career. The end result is that children’s right to education is being violated. If teachers cannot teach, children cannot learn.”


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