On 24 January 2023, International Day of Education, Education International is launching a new global campaign to fund public education and the teaching profession. The campaign Go public! Fund Education will support Education International´s member organisations in their fight against budget cuts, austerity, and privatisation, and as they mobilise to build inclusive, quality public education for all.
“Go Public! Fund education will support the efforts of education unions everywhere to improve pay, working conditions, and ensure the respect our 32 million members deserve. We will stand united and mobilise to pressure governments to fully fund public education and invest in the teaching profession,” explained David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International.
The alarming global teacher shortage is threatening the right to education everywhere. The world needs 69 million more teachers to achieve universal primary and secondary education, according to UNESCO estimates, with sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia most affected by the worldwide shortage. Research by Education International points to an overworked, underpaid, and undervalued teaching profession. Resignation rates are skyrocketing, new teachers are leaving the profession, and the number of people who want to join the teaching profession is in dramatic decline.
However, most governments have failed to make the necessary investments to provide the support teachers and education personnel desperately need. Education budgets have fallen in 65 per cent of low- and middle-income countries, and in 33 per cent of upper-middle- and high-income countries.
The United Nations Transforming Education Summit of 2022 was a first step towards building political will to prioritise education, increase education financing, and invest in teachers. The Summit called on governments to invest more and more equitably in education. At the Summit, the creation of a Global Commission on the Teaching Profession was announced. This High-Level Expert Group will give recommendations to address the global teacher shortage, amongst other issues.
In this context, Education International is launching a new campaign to mobilise at the local, national, regional, and global level, so that governments commit to the education funding necessary to implement the Commission’s recommendations, to guarantee every student’s right to have a well-supported qualified teacher and a quality learning environment.
Moving together: one union, one voice
Go Public! Fund Education is an urgent and needed call for governments to invest in public education, a fundamental human right and public good, key to pandemic recovery, and to invest more in teachers, the single most important factor in achieving quality education. This means guaranteeing labour rights and ensuring good working conditions, as well as manageable workloads and competitive salaries. It also means valuing teachers, ensuring they are central to decision-making and trusting their pedagogical expertise.
Edwards encouraged all member organisations to join the campaign as they mobilise in their local context.
“We know that only by strengthening our profession, our union movement, will we achieve democratic, inclusive, just and sustainable societies. Let's act together in solidarity to go public and fund education. We are Education International.”
To access the Go Public! Fund Education campaign hub please click here.