Every Child needs a Teacher
The Global Action Week, taking place between 24 and 30 April ’06, is a campaign by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE). During this week, officials will be put on trial for failed education promises and will be asked to do better. This year’s campaign is geared towards uniting teacher unions, education NGO’s and individuals committed to fighting for education for all.
Global action week is currently taking place in 115 nations worldwide. The theme for the week is Every child needs a teacher.
“We decided on the theme,” says Solly Mabusela, the chairperson of the GCE-SA, “to highlight the important role of teachers in our society as well as the critical worldwide teacher shortage.”
The South African campaign kicked off with a march by adult educators on Saturday, 22 April in Cape Town. As the week progresses, a number of South Africa’s celebrities and politicians will be going back to school. “For this year’s campaign we will be sending politicians and celebrities back to school,” says Alex Kent, the GCE - SA Campaign and Communications Coordinator. “We are sending them back to school so they can see how dire the situation is, they can then take this knowledge back to government.”
Minister Naledi Pandor, her director general and senior management will join a number of public figures like former President Nelson Mandela and music icon Zola in highlighting the need for teachers. Although, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has had to postpone her back to school date to May, her office has reiterated her commitment to the important role of teachers, in meeting not only the skills shortage in our country but had a critical role to play in beating poverty and inequality.
Currently there is a global shortage of teachers. “If every child is going to get the quality education that they deserve then we need at least 15 million more teachers,” says Kent. At least 15 million more teachers are needed and if possible as many as 30 million more teachers are needed to ensure that every child can complete a basic education of good quality by 2015.
As the week commences, Global Campaign for Education is demanding rich countries increase aid and cancel debt and support countries' long-term education plans including teacher salaries.
The campaign will have activities nationally in most provinces with educational roundtables, teacher forums.
This article was produced by Badumile Duma, Information Coordinator, SANGONeT.