Education International calls for a new deal for teachers at the Transforming Education Pre-Summit

published 27 June 2022 updated 1 August 2022

Educators’ insights on progress, challenges, and strategies for the future of education will all feature in Education International’s contribution to UNESCO’s Transforming Education Pre‐Summit, taking place from 28-30 June in Paris, France.

The Pre-Summit precedes the inaugural Transforming Education Summit (TES), which will take place on 19 September in New York, U.S.A. This global meeting of Heads of State, convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, seeks to mobilise political ambition, action, solutions, and solidarity to accelerate progress on education and the 2030 Agenda and transform education.

“Governments must invest more in public education, a crucial public service and key to pandemic recovery. They must invest more in teachers and education support personnel, the single most important factors in achieving quality education. We must stand up to defend every student’s right to have well-supported qualified teachers and a quality learning environment. Transforming education starts with a New Deal for teachers.”

David Edwards | Education International General Secretary

The Transforming Education Summit is a response to several crises in education. These include post pandemic-related learning losses, deepened and exacerbated inequities, and cuts to education budgets globally. It also aims to revitalise national and global efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) on education.

Building global action for education

In preparation for the Transforming Education Summit , a participatory process across three intersecting workstreams - national consultations, thematic action tracks, public engagement and mobilisation – has been put in place.

The thematic action tracks focus on five areas identified as preconditions for progress on SDG4. These areas are also regarded as essential for transforming education systems and should encourage country commitments and initiatives.

These are:

  1. Equitable, safe, and healthy schools
  2. Learning and skills for life, work, and sustainable development
  3. Teachers, teaching, and the teaching profession
  4. Digital learning
  5. Education financing (domestic and international)

The Pre-Summit in Paris is a preparatory meeting of government ministers, including education and finance ministers, ahead of the Transforming Education Summit. The education community, including Education International, will discuss in depth the progress made, new challenges, and strategies to move education forward. The meeting’s conclusions inform the commitments and calls to action that will be adopted in September. On 28 June, a Global Engagement Day will include technical meetings on the thematic action tracks and engagement with key stakeholders. The high‐level engagement between ministers and stakeholders will take place from 29‐30 June.

Invest in teachers, transform education

Education International’s advocacy is focused on the need to increase the size and share of education funding to guarantee free quality public education for all students. It calls for countries to invest at least six per cent of Gross Domestic Product or 20 per cent of total government expenditure on public education.

An important part of this investment must be in teachers and education support personnel. Qualified teachers and education support personnel with decent employment conditions are prerequisite for quality education.

Increasing the size of national budgets requires domestic and global tax justice. In addition to increasing the tax base domestically, it is essential to ensure that private companies pay their fair share of taxes and that tax loopholes are closed. Austerity must be rejected. Equally, equitable funding should be developed to deploy resources to the geographical areas, institutions, and communities most in need.

To find out more about the TES Summit, please click here.

The high-level sessions of the Pre-Summit will be livestreamed on the UNESCO website.