By Bimbola Oyesola


The International Labour Organization (ILO) has highlighted the crucial role of education and teachers in a rapidly evolving world.

Manuela Tomei, ILO Assistant Director-General for governance, rights and dialogue noted, “Teachers can instil curiosity and a passion for understanding the world, and nurture the employers and workers of the future,” she said at a session on teachers and the teaching profession.

At the Global Gateway High-level event on Education, co-hosted by the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, she discussed some of the Recommendations of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level panel on the teaching profession , which brought together ministries of education and labour, employers’ organizations, teachers’ unions, teachers, students, civil society and academia.

The ILO and UNESCO led the Secretariat of the High-level panel.

The Recommendations, which are a direct follow-up to the United Nations Transforming Education Summit and which build on the ILO-UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, set out a roadmap of actions to be considered within national contexts to address the urgent crisis in the teaching profession and the teacher shortages facing many parts of the world.

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“The Recommendations emphasize supporting the evolving role of the teacher. Teachers need training and support to become knowledge producers and promoters of experiential and inquiry-based learning and problem-solving,” Ms Tomei explained. “They need support to play a key role in promoting good citizenship, sustainability, peace and democracy.”

The Recommendations also promote a human-centred approach to technology, which has been a transformative factor in education.

She noted that teachers require support to give proper guidance to learners, so that they develop a critical attitude towards misinformation.

She further underlined the need for societies to create an enabling environment for learning by ensuring public funding for education and prioritizing public workers like teachers. Recruitment and retention policies also need to be enhanced.

EU Commissioner for International Partnerships and member of the High-level panel, Jutta Urpilainen, agreed that the attractiveness of the profession needs to be enhanced. “We need to change the narrative, so that societies recognize and respect teachers, and governments invest in education,” the Commissioner concluded.

“We now need to translate the Recommendations into action, and the ILO stands ready to support the work of the international community,” Ms Tomei concluded.