Good quality education, provided by trained and supported teachers, is the right of all children, youth and adults, not the privilege of the few.
The World Declaration on Education for All (1990) was emphatic about the necessity of providing education for all children, youth and adults that is responsive to their needs and relevant to their lives. This paved the way for the concept of quality expressed in terms of needs based criteria. Addressing the crisis in quality learning requires redefining what education systems are for. The skills, knowledge, values and attitudes that learning and teaching promote must reflect and respond to the needs and expectations of individuals, countries, the global population and the world of work today. Not only teaching basic skills like reading and math, but encouraging critical thinking and fostering the desire and capacity for lifelong learning that adapts and shifts in local, national and global dynamics.
Teachers are key to improving learning. They have a powerful impact on the quality of student learning. However, many countries, particularly the developing countries, are facing an acute shortage of qualified teachers, while serving teachers are paid poorly (and sometimes irregularly) and, because of the scant qualifications needed to enter, suffer from low social and professional status.
Quality learning is not only essential for meeting people’s basic needs, but is also fundamental in fostering the conditions for global peace and sustainable development. All young people need to learn in active, collaborative and self-directed ways in order to flourish and contribute to their communities. Along with the basics, they need to acquire attitudes, values and skills as well as information. Their teachers, peers, communities, curriculum and learning resources must help prepare them to recognize and respect human rights globally and to value global well-being, as well as equip them with the relevant skills and competencies for 21st century employment opportunities.
To achieve this, it is not enough to measure what learners learn: it is essential to target the classroom experiences that fundamentally shape student learning, and emphasize the range of skills required for lifelong well-being and societal cohesion.
- Education for Sustainable Development
- The Global Learning Crisis: Why every child deserves a quality education
- Quality of education
- Education for All - The Quality Imperative