Assistant Education Minister for Teachers Education, Advertus Wright, has said tremendous gains have been made over the years by authorities of the Ministry of Education in adding value to teachers and improving their status.
He said Liberia has graduated from a point where teachers training, morale and motivation was at its lowest to the point where a number of reforms have been put in place to develop the system.
Assistant Minister Wright made the statement when he served as a panelist at programs marking the observance of World Teachers' Day held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
The day is celebrated globally on October 5 each year.
He noted since 2005, a number of reforms have been introduced ranging from access, quality, financial and human resources which later culminated into the new Education Reform Act that was signed into law.
The law, he says, seeks to address the issues of a decentralized operation through administrative regulations and policy guidelines, monitoring and evaluation and a comprehensive education management program.
He told the gathering that the Education Sector Plan was also developed to guide the process of quality education, thus placing premium on teachers’ welfare, quality, better salaries and incentives, textbook supply and availability, and teachers’ development programs.
Under the banner “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status,” events at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and around the world commemorated the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1966 UNESCO and ILO recommendations concerning the status of teachers and highlight the critical importance of the profession for global development and the need for urgent action to address the shortage of teachers.
The forum established that in the next 14 years, 24.4 million primary school teachers and 44.4 million secondary school teachers will be required.
Sub-Saharan Africa faces the largest teacher gap: The region will need a total of 17 million primary and secondary teachers by 2030.
The region is also the fastest growing in school-age population.
A joint message from UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Education International General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen, stressed the “limitless contributions made by teachers around the world” and highlights the need for urgent action:
“Teachers not only help shape the individual futures of millions of children; they also help shape a better world for all. How can we recruit new teachers and attract them to the vital profession of teaching when around the world, so many are under-trained, underpaid and undervalued?”
Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) demands inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030.
The needs are urgent, with an estimated 263 million children and youth still out of primary and secondary school globally.
The SDG 4 includes a specific call for more qualified teachers, and more support from the international community for teacher training in developing countries.