In her address to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Education International Deputy General Secretary Haldis Holst stressed the need for social dialogue to establish education policies and ensure decent working conditions of all education personnel.
During her address, Holst stressed that “more structured and democratic mechanisms are needed to hear the voice of teachers and their representative organisations in relation to their evolving, and increasingly precarious, employment and working conditions, as well as emerging challenges affecting professionalisation that have resulted from the COVID pandemic”.
Commenting on the Report of the ILO Director General on June 9, Holst highlighted this recommendation from the Joint ILO–UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendations concerning Teaching Personnel (CEART).
CEART oversees, on behalf of ILO and UNESCO, the two recommendations on teaching staff, i.e the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers and the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel.
Holst reiterated that, “in the education sector, COVID led to school closures, dramatic changes in how and where teachers were expected to work and to dismissals, often without social dialogue or respect for labour rights.”
ILO Sectoral meeting on the future of work in education
She went on to highlight some of the outcomes of the ILO Sectoral meeting on the future of work in education, focusing on:
- The need for professional autonomy and training and lifelong learning opportunities for educators.
- Technology-mediated education that responds to access and to challenges in the digital transformation of work, including developing appropriate privacy and personal data protection measures.
- Privatisation, governments being invited to strengthen governance and regulation of private education providers.
Working with educators and their unions to eliminate child labour
Holst also commended on behalf of Education International and member organisations on work done by the ILO to end child labour, taking action to achieve the universal right to education. The Durban Call of action, which came out of the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, underlines the importance of educators and their unions to eradicate child labour, she insisted.