The need for more professionally qualified teachers

11 September 2017

“Teaching: A profession” will be the theme of the 10th International Policy Dialogue Forum of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 that will take place in Lomé, Togo from 18 -21 September 2017. The gathering will focus on what it takes to have the “professionally qualified” teachers needed to achieve the SDG goals.   

Approximately 350 participants - delegates from Member States, representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, teachers and educators, teachers' union representatives, researchers, policy makers – will be taking part in the discussions and debates.

Reinstating teaching as a valued profession

Qualified teachers are key to quality education. However, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, in 31 of the 96 countries with data, less than 80% of primary school teachers were reportedly trained according to national standards in 2014.

National, regional and international experiences regarding the knowledge, skills, and competencies required for the teaching profession as well the qualification standards, codes of conduct, and concern for diversity that should characterize its governance will be at the core of deliberations in Lomé.

The question of the status of teaching as a profession is a long-standing issue, leading to the pervasive perception of teaching as a low-status profession. The diversity of teachers and learners, as well as the diversification of providers of education and teacher training in various contexts and settings is another area of concern. Participants will delve into research findings, professional experiences of teachers and educators, reports on reforms by ministries of education and other education stakeholders to try to reinstate teaching as a valued, diverse and respected profession.  

A useful tool for teacher policy development

The Forum will also highlight the Teacher Policy Development Guide, produced to help countries develop evidence-based national teacher policies. The summary version of the Guide was published in 2015. An online modular version produced in collaboration with the Open University, will be launched during the forum. Participants already using the Guide will share their experiences at the forum.

Created in 2008, the Teacher Task Force is a voluntary global alliance and the only global platform of Education 2030 partners working together to address the ‘teacher gap’, the acute shortage of qualified teachers required to achieve Education 2030 targets and commitments.

The Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Education (SDG4) aims to “ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems” (target 4.c).

The International Policy Dialogue Forum offers a unique opportunity to address the efforts of the Teacher Task Force members to approach teacher-related matters in different regions and socioeconomic contexts. Through this forum, the Teacher Task Force actively promotes participatory approaches, dialogue and exchange of experiences in evidence-based teacher policy formulation and implementation.