TALLINN – The United Nations Secretary General Antionio Guterres on Monday announced the establishment of a high-level panel on the teaching profession, which will be co-chaired by Kersti Kaljulaid, former president of Estonia, and Paula-Mae Weekes, former president of Trinidad and Tobago.
Supported by a joint United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - International Labor Organization (ILO) Secretariat, the panel will draw together expertise from ministries of education and labor, teachers, students, representatives of teacher unions, as well as representatives of civil society, the private sector and academia.
"Education has been hit by crisis after crisis. Demographic processes, the coronavirus pandemic, the consequences of climate change and wars have reduced the availability of education and made the teaching profession even more difficult than before. In different ways in different places, but the ultimate goal is the same in every corner of the world," Kaljulaid said. "There is a shortage of teachers everywhere and we increasingly see that the current preparation and skill package of teachers does not meet the challenges of the 21st century."
The high-level panel will build on the discussion on this topic held at the Transforming Education Summit and clarify the role of teachers in education transformation. They will offer recommendations to ensure that every learner has a professionally trained, qualified and well-supported teacher who can flourish in a transformed education system. The panel’s report, to be delivered by end of November, will serve as a contribution to broader efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4, as an input to ongoing preparations for the 2024 Summit of the Future and help advance follow-up on the Transforming Education Summit.
At the same time, Kaljulaid's two-year role as a global advocate for the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents will also end.