Today, on the 60th anniversary of the Convention that promotes the universal right to education, Education International and UNESCO published a joint message calling on governments and the international community to consider teachers and education support personnel as a priority group in COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The call came as some countries are starting to roll out COVID-19 vaccines.
Noting that over 100 million teachers and school personnel globally were impacted by educational disruptions due to the COVID-19 crisis, UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay and Education International General Secretary David Edwards praised and thanked educators for their tireless efforts in support of their students. As schools closed their doors, educators "reinvented the way we teach, we learn," they said, adding that when schools reopened, teachers returned "courageously" to their classrooms.
Highlighting the negative impacts of school closures, Edwards stated: “Schools are irreplaceable. Reopening schools and education institutions safely and keeping them open as long as possible is an imperative.” Considering the essential role of schools and the development of COVID-19 vaccines, the Education International and UNESCO leaders called “on governments and the international community to consider teachers and school personnel as a priority group in vaccination efforts”.
The UNESCO - Education International joint message is available in full below.