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Why We Need Quality Educators

February 25, 2016

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself” (J. Dewey)

The world determined that all children and young people have the right to education. It then determined again that not only must education be provided for all, it must be a quality education, and those providing and imparting it must be quality educators. The world determined: Educators are important! Educators are at the core of equality, equity and quality in education.

So it would seem that the key to SDG4 is a competent, educated, quality educator.

According to UNESCO on the Global Learning Crisis: “The right to education is universally affirmed in numerous international human rights treaties. Worldwide most governments have enshrined a provision for the right to education in their national constitutions, and as a result, many more children have access to school than they did at the start of the century. But access is not sufficient. The quality of learning is also crucial. The failure to adequately educate students can be seen as a violation of the right to education as it limits economic development and locks countries into cycles of low growth rates, limited employment opportunities and weak social cohesion.” (http://www.globaleducationfirst.org/css/Global_Learning_final_web_single.pdf)

The International Task Force on Teachers For EFA (Teacher Management In Fragile States, 2014) states that although meeting this international requirement can be daunting, the importance does not lessen because the goal may be hard to achieve. “Education can save and sustain lives, can restore routine [after crises] and give people hope for the future.” It adds that through education, and more specifically, quality education, we can promote health, cultural tolerance and achieve economic prosperity.

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) reaffirms and illustrates how education is fundamental for achieving each of the UN’s 17 SDGs, emphasizing yet again the importance of providing every child with the opportunity to learn. The GPE shows how studies have proven that education is in fact the key for promoting the wellbeing of us all and bringing an end to our afflictions (http://www.globalpartnership.org/blog/17-ways-education-influences-new-17-global-goals).

However, awareness and the attempts of a multitude of organizations to tackle the issue of quality education are not enough, and there is a strong need for a coordinated, thought-out approach, identifying the unique situation of each country attempting to develop its quality educators.

There is a teacher shortage. Not just quality educators but teachers. Period. This situation makes the task of providing quality education for all even more daunting, but it is what must be addressed to ensure that it will indeed come about. According to The International Task Force on Teachers For EFA (6th International Policy Dialogue Forum, 2013), having qualified teachers means having teachers who are able to confidently tackle the demands of teaching and who receive the constant support of their systems so that they are capable of continuously providing students with quality education. Providing quality education is yet another measure for ensuring that children remain in school – because they will be interested. Engaged. Taught in a manner relevant to them. They will see that through their quality education, not only will their horizons broaden, but new opportunities will open as well. And so, by providing quality educators nations will also be providing a quality future. Student will in learn in ways “through which they would be able to contribute to make their societies more equal, just and sustainable.”

But Who Is the Quality Educator and Why Are They So Important?

According to UNESCO (http://en.unesco.org/news/quality-education-needs-qualified-teachers) to be a quality educator, one needs to be a trained educator. Lack of training, no matter how well-intentioned the teacher may be, cannot make up for formal, quality training, which is the first step toward being a qualified educator and providing quality education.

And so, first and foremost, the quality educator is educated. They have received the best training they can and have been prepared as best they can for their role in society. Teacher training may vary from place to place, but its objective remains constant: providing educators with the tools they need to become quality educators and provide their students with quality education. The outcomes of teacher training are reflected in teachers’ knowledge, values and practices. A quality educator is so because they see the value and importance in what they do.

The International Task Force on Teachers For EFA, (7th International Policy Dialogue Forum, 2014) states that nations must provide policies ensuring that teachers receive adequate support (both financial and other) in order to unlock their potential. Educational systems must provide incentives to attract the best to the teaching profession.

The International Task Force on Teachers For EFA adds that a quality educator must be able to serve as a role model for learners from the lowest social-economic backgrounds, they must inspire those who may seem to have the lowest chance to complete their education. A quality educator must be trained to cater to the multitude of needs they will encounter. Quality educators must value all learners, respect differences and enhance the learning environment. They must be knowledgeable. Skillful. Competent. “Twenty-first century skills, pedagogical innovations and the use of information and communication technologies ICT… should be extensively introduced,” so that quality educator will be able to set their students on a path towards the future.

At the A. Ofri International Training Center we believe that a quality educator must be capable of listening, capable of embracing change and accepting innovations and new ways of viewing their role. A quality educator who can listen empowers those who are listened to. The quality educator must be capable of reflection, of reconsidering their steps, of striving to become better. The quality educator must also be and view their selves as leaders in their respective settings. Educators must comprehend their central roles and act accordingly (http://www.ofri.org.il/Article-169,1369-A-New-Window-to-the-Educators-Path.aspx).

The world has come to understand that without quality educators there will be no quality education. The key to the success of all the plans, programs and initiatives is an educator capable of tackling the task at hand – capable of imparting a quality education for all.

“Teachers are the single most influential and powerful force for equity, access and quality in education,” says Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.

The world has learned that filling classrooms and placing instructors before scores of students is not enough. To achieve the goals we have set before us the educator standing before a class must be educated enough, prepared enough, and knowledgeable enough to impart the education that will march the students forward into a better future.

Sara Levy


Mashav- Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation

Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Israel