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'Our future depends on teachers...' International Labor Organization urges more support for teachers against the attacks on universal public education for all children

The International Labor Organization, based in Switzerland and affiliated with the United Nations, has come out strongly in support of the teachers in real public schools across the planet — and of public education for all children. Both are under attack from the planetary plutocracy that has tried to change all of the terms of discussion of human rights in general and children's rights in particular. The following caught my eye this morning because the Chicago Teachers Union once had an officer who regularly represented teachers from the USA at the ILO. That's right: Jacqueline Vaughn, when she was CTU President, represented American teachers at the ILO. Without going in detail into the ILO's history, a great deal of its human rights work has been about protecting the rights of children from exploitation. And one of the most serious ways that the wealthy exploit children is by denying them equal and free access to real public schools.

Enough of that. We're all busy. Below is stuff from the ILO.

Guy Ryder: Teaching is a Profession Under Siege. The International Labor Organization (ILO) Director-General calls for urgent action to make teaching an attractive career once again.

ILO News October 3, 2012

http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_190610/lang--en/index.htm

GENEVA

The economic crisis has strongly affected working conditions and salaries for many teachers, said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a statement issued ahead of World Teachers Day. [October 5}

Ryder said the lack of teachers has been leading to an increase in the number of students in each

classroom, as funding for support services and materials for schools has dropped.

Urgent action is needed to improve the status of teachers and come up with policies ... that motivate people to become teachers."

"All this has resulted in a decline in the status of teachers," he said. "Sadly, it is a profession under siege."

Ryder also denounced the recruitment of "uncertified or poorly qualified teachers to fill the

gap". He called for "high initial and on-going training standards", to ensure that teachers were

adequately prepared for their demanding profession.

"People don't see teaching as an attractive profession, and some teachers actually leave the

profession," he said.

Need for urgent action

Ryder insisted that "urgent action" is needed to

promote sound social dialogue, improve the status

of teachers and come up with policies and strategies

that attract and motivate people to become teachers.

He also added that freedom of association and the

right to collective bargaining remained limited for

teachers in many countries.

Another priority he mentioned is the need to

"promote gender equality", not only to ensure equal

opportunities and treatment for teachers but also to

provide "appropriate role models" for students.

Ryder underlined that education is "one of the

pillars of sustainable economic growth and social

development".

"Children who are in school have a better chance of

avoiding the trap of child labour. And when they

grow up and have their own children, children of

educated parents have better nutrition and care," he

concluded. _______________

Statement:

http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-

ilo/multimedia/video/video-

interviews/WCMS_190765/lang--en/index.htm

Transcript:

Education is one of the main pillars of sustainable

economic growth and social development. Every

dollar invested in education translates into job

opportunities, higher productivity, and stronger

social capital. Children of educated parents have

better nutrition and care. Children who are in

school have a better chance of avoiding the trap of

child labour.

For this reason I'm pleased to join other

organizations in taking a moment to honor the

women and men who deliver education to learners

around the world. Whether it's for toddlers in pre-

school or adults in vocational training, teachers and

trainers are responsible for providing the knowledge,

skills and values that build strong and stable

communities. Teaching is truly a noble profession.

Yet, sadly, it's also a profession under siege. Many

countries are facing significant teacher shortages. In

the wake of the economic crisis, the number of

students in each classroom has risen, funding for

support services and materials for schools has

dropped, and some countries have had to resort to

hiring uncertified or poorly qualified teachers to fill

the gap. Teaching hours have gone up, yet salaries

for teachers remain uncompetitive. Freedom of

association and the right to collective bargaining

remain limited for teachers in many countries.

All this has resulted in a decline in the status of

teachers, and further flight from the profession.

We need to take urgent action to foster sound social

dialogue with the aim of improving the status of

teachers, and devise policies and strategies that

attract and motivate capable men and women to the

profession. The education community, including

governments, employers, trade unions, educators,

parents and students, need to work together to

ensure high initial and continual training

standards, competitive remuneration, and attractive

working and learning conditions for teachers. We

need to promote gender equality at all educational

levels, not only to ensure equality of opportunity

and treatment for teachers, but also to provide

appropriate role models for learners throughout

their schooling. More also needs to be done to bring

underrepresented minorities into the profession. It

is also critical that teachers and trainers enjoy

respect for rights and principles of freedom of

association, organization and participation in

decision-making as set out in international labour

standards and international standards on teachers.

Our future depends on teachers. That's why today

I'm proud to take a stand for them.



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