UK Department for International Development and Education Commission partner to strengthen and diversify teaching, leadership, and education support roles for the future

DUBAI/ NEW YORK, March 18, 2018/ — The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (the Education Commission) is launching the Education Workforce Initiative (EWI) in partnership with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) to strengthen the education workforce in developing countries to meet the changing demands of the 21st century and tackle the global learning crisis.

According to Education Commissioner and former South Korean Minister of Education Ju-Ho Lee, “We are facing a double challenge in which the world needs more teachers, but also needs teachers better equipped to prepare students with the skills of the future.”

By 2030, the demand for teachers in low- and lower-middle-income countries is projected to rise by 25 percent, and in low-income countries it will nearly double. Today there are already teacher shortages in many countries – especially in remote areas – and in certain subject areas such as science and mathematics. New approaches for increasing the supply of qualified teachers are required but they won’t be enough. To thrive in this century with an ever-changing job market, young people need to leave school with the skills they need to succeed in life. The roles of the teacher, school leaders, and other members of the education workforce should evolve with these needs – more effective approaches to strengthening the education workforce, exploring the use of technology where appropriate, and professionalizing a wider set of roles to improve learning outcomes are needed.

The Education Workforce Initiative – based on the Education Commission’s recommendation in its 2016 Learning Generation report to “strengthen and diversify the education workforce” – is a concrete step to address these issues and aims to improve education outcomes. “We have developed the Education Workforce Initiative to increase teachers’ capacities to train future generations and give them the support they need to succeed,” adds Commissioner Lee.

In the coming months, a group of international experts – from a range of sectors and including policymakers, implementers, researchers, and teachers – will review the roles required within the education workforce to help young people succeed. An Education Workforce Report will be published in early 2019 to inform education workforce reform and share innovative approaches for implementation. The initiative will work with three countries to develop options to address their specific education workforce challenges.

The Education Workforce Initiative aligns with DFID’s new Education Policy Get Children Learning which sets out how the UK is investing in teaching to ensure children around the world receive a quality education.

United Kingdom Minister of State for Africa Harriett Baldwin said, “Over the next decade a billion more young people across the world will be looking for jobs – and we know that the quality of teaching they receive now, will directly impact their ability to make the most of their talents in the future.

The UK is investing in good teaching, while also working in partnership with countries to strengthen their own education systems. The Education Workforce Initiative will provide crucial research, so we can ensure our investment into good teaching is delivering the best results – reaching all children with the best quality education.”

Education Commission Director Liesbet Steer said, “We are thrilled that the recommendation the Commission made in the Learning Generation report to strengthen and diversify the education workforce is being taken forward by the Education Workforce Initiative. We are grateful to DFID for supporting this vision and call on partners around the world to join us in delivering the Learning Generation – and ensuring all children are in school and learning within a generation.”

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