World Teachers' day 2007 was officially launched today at EI's 5th World Congress in Berlin by EI President Thulas Nxesi.
The day, which marks the signing of the UNESCO-ILO Recommendation on the Status of Education Personnel in 1966, is now an important lobbying day for educators around the world to make governments put in place the terms laid down in the document.
"In 2007 EI and its affiliates want to make clear that better working conditions for teachers mean better learning conditions for learners. We demand a decent working environment, living wages, equal pay and equal rights for women, initial and ongoing professional development, involvement in policy-making and last but not least collective bargaining to defend and enhance teachers’ rights," said Nxesi, in his address to the Congress participants.
The 1966 UNESCO-ILO Recommendation on the Status of Education Personnel states the rights of teaching personnel, including the right to organise and the right to negotiate on salaries, working conditions and education policies. The 1997 Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel elaborates on the rights of personnel working in the Higher Education and Research, which includes the right of academic freedom.
Below is the statement of this year’s World Teachers’ Day campaign, entitled “We Teachers of the World”:
We Teachers of the World
"Better working conditions for teachers mean better learning conditions for learners"
- A decent working environment– a safe and healthy learning environment for teachers and learners, appropriate class-sizes and adequate pedagogical resources in the classroom;
- Living wages- salaries that allow for decent living conditions and that are regularly paid;
- Equal pay and equal rights for women- female teachers should not experience discrimination of any form and governments should ensure the empowerment of women in the education setting, in decision making and in the workplace;
- Initial and ongoing professional development– the opportunity to gain and to develop professional skills, to be kept up-to-date with new information and pedagogical techniques, and to develop a career;
- Involvement in policy-making- to ensure that new policies reflect the reality of the classroom, social dialogue should be an integral part of education planning and policy formulation;
- Collective bargaining to defend and enhance teachers' rights- working conditions, as well as quality assessments of teaching procedures, must be negotiated between representatives of the government/employers and the representative education unions.