Social dialogue: what others are saying
Education International works with many partners on the international scene to ensure that quality education stays on top of the policy agenda. Supporters are, for example, the Office of the UN Secretary General, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, the UN Special Envoy for the Right to Education, UNESCO, UNICEF, the Global Partnership for Education, the Global Campaign for Education and many more. In this section, you’ll find some of their statements.
In his introduction to the Global Education First Initiative, of which Education International is a partner, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon said:
“Our new global initiative will focus on three priorities.
First, we must put every child in school. Every child – regardless of gender, background, or circumstance – must have equal access to education. No society can afford for any child to drop out, be left out or pushed out.
“Just one more year of schooling for a girl could increase her future wages by up to 20 per cent — wages which she is more than likely to return to her family and community. This is the virtuous circle we need to create.
“Second, we must improve the quality of learning. Many children are in school but learning very little year after year. And too many young people graduate without the tools and skills for today’s job market. We must bridge this gap through stronger skills development and the power of technology.
“Third, we must foster global citizenship. Education is about more than literacy and numeracy – it is also about citizenry. Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful and tolerant societies.”
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report 2012
“The world has achieved parity in primary education between girls and boys.
Driven by national and international efforts and the MDG campaign, many more of the world’s children are enrolled in school at the primary level, especially since 2000. Girls have benefited the most. The ratio between the enrolment rate of girls and that of boys grew from 91 in 1999 to 97 in 2010 for all developing regions. The gender parity index value of 97 falls within the plus-or-minus 3-point margin of 100 per cent, the accepted measure for parity.
Many countries facing the greatest challenges have made significant progress towards universal primary education.
Enrolment rates of children of primary school age increased markedly in sub-Saharan Africa, from 58 to 76 per cent between 1999 and 2010. Many countries in that region succeeded in reducing their relatively high out-of-school rates even as their primary school age populations were growing.”
The OECD doesn’t equivocate. It says, “The better a country’s education system performs, the more likely that country is working constructively with its unions and treating its teachers as trusted professional partners.”
The OECD also says “teachers need to be active agents, not just in the implementation of reforms, but also in their design. Reform must be underpinned by solid research and analysis. Conflict between unions and reform has best been avoided not where unions are weak but where they are strong and co-operate with reform.”
In fact, research shows that nearly all of the top performing countries on international education measures have strong teacher unions, including Finland, Korea, Japan, Canada, and Australia.
The UN Commission on Growth and Development and the World Bank
A quality education is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. The UN’s Commission on Growth and Development said that “every country that sustained high growth for long periods put substantial effort into schooling its citizens and deepening its human capital” and, “educated people contribute more to society than they get back in higher pay.”
The World Bank in its “Education Strategy 2020” said, “public intervention to promote education creates opportunities for gains in growth, productivity, employment, and poverty reduction.”