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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 18, Number 4, January/February 2006

Global action week: Every child needs a teacher

This year, Global Action Week is April 24–30, 2006. Teacher organizations and other groups such as Oxfam will unite around the world, demanding that governments of rich and poor countries work together to ensure there are enough qualified teachers, to ensure every child has a quality education.

Over 100 million children wake up every day without the hope that education offers. These children know AIDS, poverty, hard labour, and hunger but some will never know a teacher. There are simply not enough teachers to ensure every child can get a quality education.

The United Nations estimates that at least 15 million more teachers are needed for the universal primary education goal alone.

There is a desperate need for more qualified teachers—many low income countries currently save money by hiring teachers with little training and pay them poorly.

Teachers are under pressure, coping with enormous classes, poor living and working conditions, and many are affected by HIV/AIDS. Yet good teachers are essential for children to learn, female teachers are particularly important for helping girls stay in school.

Global Campaign for Education (GCE) will be watching politicians, to ensure they keep their promises of enabling every child to go to school and be taught by a qualified teacher. GCE is demanding rich countries increase aid and cancel debt, support countries’ long-term education plans including teacher salaries, and end harmful donor conditions that prevent countries employing sufficient numbers of professional teachers.

GCE demands that poor countries increase public spending on education, ensure quality teaching by training teachers to a professional standard, pay teachers a living wage and give them a say in education policy-making, and reduce class sizes and improve classroom conditions.

Five million campaigners came together in 2005. Join us in 2006 to put pressure on politicians to provide money and leadership in achieving "education for all."

For more information, visit www.campaignforeducation.org/action/action_take_action.html

Canadian Teachers’ Federation

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