The voices of 30 million teachers are hard to ignore, especially after they called upon the UN yesterday in New York to make sure quality education remains a top priority.
Education International (EI) meant business when it embarked on its global Unite for Quality Education Campaign culmination tour two weeks ago. After hitting five countries on five continents, EI descended on New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly, where they put the three pillars of quality education – quality teaching, quality teaching and learning tools, and quality learning environments – on the world’s agenda.
The strongest statement was made Thursday, when EI President Susan Hopgood, General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen and seven teachers from around the world presented the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria, with a hand-made wooden portfolio box to mark the end of campaign and urge that education makes the list of post-2015 development goals.
The box, made from cherry and maple wood, was a message from the more than 30 million teachers represented by EI and its 400 member organisations to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urging him to ensure that education is stand-alone goal on the post-2015 development agenda. Along with an open letter addressed the Secretary-General from EI’s President and General Secretary, the boxed contained an Education For All (EFA) Teacher Survey Report and a DVD copy of the documentary film, Day in the Life, which features the lives of teachers around the world.