Education International
Education International

Recruitment protocol for teachers signed

published 9 October 2006 updated 9 October 2006

A new international protocol signed last week on recruitment of teachers will benefit both teachers and students across the Commonwealth countries, according to leading educators.

A letter of agreement on the protocol was formally signed on 6 October by representatives of the International Labour Organization and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

"The Teachers Recruitment Protocol will help us realise the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation on the Status of Teachers," said Education International President Thulas Nxesi, who attended the meeting in London along with EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen.

Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Ransford Smith shared the same sentiments with those gathered at Marlborough House. “Education has always been a central concern of the Commonwealth. I am pleased to re-commit the Secretariat to supporting the need to respect teachers' rights and responsibilities as set out in the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation of 1966,” Smith said.

The protocol will also contribute to the achievement of Education for All children in the Commonwealth countries, according to Steve Sinnott, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers and chair of the EI Commonwealth Teachers’ Grouping.

The protocol calls for balancing the rights of teachers to migrate internationally with the need to protect the integrity of national education systems and to prevent the exploitation of scarce human resources in poor countries. Thus, the protocol will prevent poaching of teachers between Commonwealth countries while protecting the rights, terms and employment conditions of teachers working abroad.

EI had encouraged the ILO and the Commonwealth Secretariat to agree on the protocol, which education unions and governments of the Commonwealth countries had approved in 2005. The letter of agreement also aims to facilitate application of the protocol worldwide.