• Teacher leadership is essential for inclusive and quality education.
Teacher leadership is essential for inclusive and quality education and recognises a greater role for teachers beyond their traditional role. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, teacher leaders designed remote learning solutions, supported vulnerable learners, and mitigated learning gaps. However, even before the crisis, the world was facing a shortage of trained and qualified teachers, with an estimated 69 million new teachers needed to meet rising demand to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030.
• It is important for teachers to play a leading role in defining post-COVID-19 teaching, learning and working
Consultations and social dialogue between governments and teacher leaders are critical to designing effective crisis responses and implementing safe back-to-school policies and procedures.
• Teachers are reimagining the future of education as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis by providing
instruction in no-tech, low-tech, and high-tech environments.
A challenge posed by the current crisis to education access, quality and equity is physical distancing, which makes it difficult for teachers to maintain close relationships with learners, particularly those from disadvantaged groups. This is especially true as, globally, in 2018, about 50% and 43% of households, respectively, did not have a computer or access to the Internet. Teachers have supported access to and equity in education by providing remote teaching in no-tech, low-tech and high-tech contexts.
• As teachers lead many of the responses to the current education crisis, it is vital to protect and increase
financing for teacher education and professional development.
Currently, many teachers are not sufficiently prepared to use ICTs for learning and instruction. To build resilience in the system and ‘build back better,’ teacher education needs to be modernised and reformed to train teachers on new technologies and pedagogies for remote learning. A resilient teacher workforce means training teachers to deliver remote instruction in blended or hybrid learning environments.
• Because teachers are among those providing essential services on the front lines as we face the current crisis,
their health, safety and wellbeing should be a priority.
At least 63 million primary and secondary teachers have been affected by the pandemic to date. Governments and other key partners have an ongoing duty of care to education personnel, as set out in the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (1966) and the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel (1997). With this in mind, efforts will be made to raise awareness of, and promote, the 1966/1997 Recommendations.
• The initiative shown by teachers around the world in response to crisis has highlighted the importance of
fostering and consolidating teacher cooperation and communities of practice
Teachers have formed communities of practice and support groups through social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Without much guidance or pedagogical support from education authorities, the frontline workers of the education sector are showing great capacity and flexibility to adapt to an ever-evolving situation in order to keep children and youth learning.