ISTP 2024
ISTP 2024

ISTP 2024: Empowering teachers to shape equitable futures

published 22 April 2024 updated 25 April 2024

The 14th International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) is taking place in Singapore, from April 22-24, bringing together education ministers and leaders from education unions across 19 countries.

Co-hosted by Education International, the Singapore Teachers’ Union, the Singaporean Government, and in partnership with the OECD, this year’s ISTP embraces the theme: Reimagining Education, Realising Potential. During the three-day event, discussions will focus on leveraging technology in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), empowering teachers for future challenges, and advancing lifelong learning for a sustainable society.

"The ISTP is more than an annual event — it’s a vital part of our ongoing mission to strengthen public education and inform the design of meaningful teacher policy,” stated David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International. “As we navigate a landscape marked by rapid technological changes and a pressing global teacher shortage, this year's Summit seeks to address immediate educational challenges, while paving a sustainable path for future generations. And this year's host, Singapore, provides the example of a country where not only university-based teacher education is free; teachers are given the time, tools and trust to research and innovate collaboratively.”

Edwards highlighted the urgency of the recommendations from the UN High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession, which call for bold governmental action to address the global shortage of teachers, and make excellence and equity in education a reality. “These recommendations urge increasing investment in public education systems, enhancing teacher training, and upholding teachers' rights and professional expertise," Edwards added.

“The ISTP is driving these discussions forward. By incorporating these progressive recommendations into our strategies, we aim to ensure that every child benefits from high-quality teaching.”

Transforming education: teachers at the core

In her address at the Summit, Education International’s President, Susan Hopgood, underscored the Panel’s call for urgent government action to raise the status of the teaching profession. Hopgood highlighted the importance of recognizing and valuing teachers as central to addressing the global challenges in education: “The Panel urged governments to act decisively to address the global education crisis by elevating and transforming the role and status of a teaching profession that is underpaid, undervalued, and overworked. That transformation begins with better pay and conditions, an essential first step in eliminating the global teacher shortage.”

Haldis Holst, Deputy General Secretary of Education International, stressed the importance of a human-centered approach to reimagining education focused on the unique student-teacher relationship. Holst highlighted the centrality of teachers in realizing students’ potential: "Teachers are the backbones of all good education systems. To fulfill their essential role in the education systems of the future, they must promote learning based on experience, enquiry, and curiosity; develop the capacity, the joy, and the discipline for problem solving."

Priorities for new realities

This year, discussions at the ISTP revolve around three key areas:

  1. The Future of Learning and Technology's Role in TVET: Participants are exploring how digital tools can be integrated into teaching to enrich vocational training and prepare students for the digital economy.
  2. Empowering teachers for future challenges: Discussions focus on equipping teachers with the necessary skills to tackle emerging challenges such as digitalization and the climate crisis, emphasizing the need for matching quality with equity and inclusion.
  3. Strengthening partnerships for lifelong learning: The importance of creating effective partnerships to support lifelong learning frameworks essential for personal and professional development is also a key topic.

For more details and to access Education International’s Policy Briefing for the ISTP please click here