UNICEF called for the strengthening of teachers at the Inter American Meeting of Ministers of Education PDF Print E-mail

School at Nieuw Aurora, Suriname.School at Nieuw Aurora, Suriname.On March, UNICEF and UNDP participated in the VII Inter American Meeting of Ministers of Education from Latin America held in Paramaribo. The UNICEF Guyana Education Specialist, Michele Rodrigues, presented the organization’s perspective to support teachers to create learning environments conducive for the development, protection and active participation of all children at every level of the school system.


The conference addressed the role of the teacher in the education system to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The debates focused on the teachers needed to promote schools as learning communities, and on the role of governments in promoting teacher quality through public policies.  
On the second day of the conference, UNICEF defended that teachers can only become effective duty bearers if they have the requisite competencies to create learning environments conducive for the development, protection and active participation of all children at every level of the school system.


‘UNICEF believes that finding and sustaining the balance in catering to our teachers as duty bearers and rights holders is one of the pillars of ensuring quality education for all’, explained Rodrigues during her presentation. ‘UNICEF believes that it is cheaper to strengthen teachers as rights holders than to find new resources’.


In this sense, the UN agency proposed to share its expertise and collaborate to promote the institutionalization of the concept of Child Friendly Schools in teacher training and the establishment of centres of excellence in the region for knowledge generation and management and ready access for all teachers.


Declaration of Paramaribo

The Declaration of Paramaribo stressed the importance of teachers in all levels of the educational process. “We reaffirm the key role of the teacher in educational processes and results and recognize that the participation of teachers in efforts to improve the quality of education is important, so as to help ensure that the results are effective and lasting,” the text says.

The document also highlights the need for educators “to have access to quality initial preparation and continuing professional development” and acknowledges that “policies to strengthen the teaching profession and opportunities for quality professional development are vital to attract, employ, induct, develop, evaluate, motivate, retain, and recognize teachers so that they become ever better educators.”

The Declaration of Paramaribo also emphasizes the importance of expanding access to new technologies in education, and applauded the progresses made by the Inter-American Teacher Education Network (ITEN). On that regard, the government of the United States announced during the meeting its commitment to further provide resources to strengthen ITEN’s work.

 

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