Governments and Teacher Unions meet to discuss social and policy dialogue

Education International Africa and the International Institute for Capacity building in Africa (UNESCO-IICBA) co-organised the seminar on the Future of the Teaching Profession, in partnership with the International Taskforce for Teachers (ITTF) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The two-day online seminar took place from 30th September to 1st October 2021. The seminar brought together senior teacher union leaders and officials from the Ministries of Education, as well as other major teacher stakeholders in Africa to share experiences and discuss strategies for ensuring quality education for all during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic through effective social and policy dialogue. Participants included representatives of ministries of education, teachers’ unions, teacher training colleges, and national UNESCO offices from Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya,  Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
 
This year’s seminar revolved around the theme “Advancing Social and Policy Dialogue for Quality Education in Times of Crisis” and was moderated by Mary Metcalfe, Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.  
 
The Regional Director of Education International Africa, Dr. Dennis Sinyolo, in his opening remarks, welcomed participants to the 4th seminar in the series. He indicated that this year’s seminar explores ways of strengthening engagement between teacher unions and governments, as well as other partners to ensure quality learning and teaching conditions in schools and all education institutions. 
 
He highlighted that findings of an EI Africa study on the impact of COVID-19, showed that ‘28% of the 54 teacher union leader respondents indicated that they  were not consulted when decisions related to COVID-19 such as school closures or openings were made; 51% of them reported that they were consulted and their views sometimes taken; 11%  reported that they were consulted but that their views were ignored, and only 9%  reported that they were consulted and their views fully taken’. Exchanges and discussions on the seminar theme were stimulated by presentations made by Saliou Sall, Senior Programme Coordinator UNESCO-IICBA, Oliver Liang, Head, Public and Private Services Unit, ILO, Carlos Vargas Tamez, Head of the Teacher Taskforce Secretariat, and Professor Yusuf Sayed, Yusuf Sayed, Professor of International Education and Development Policy, University of Sussex. The seminar offered an opportunity for the sharing of country experiences and examples of social and policy dialogue in moments of disruption.
 
The EI Africa Draft Framework for Social Dialogue was also presented, debated, and endorsed. The Framework includes relevant international instruments on social and policy dialogues and recommendations along 9 fundamental principles calling for the African Union, Governments, and teacher unions to put in place social and policy dialogue structures and mechanisms.

[Tue, 05 Oct 2021 17:58:00 +0200] | DIGG THIS

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