World needs more teachers, quality education: UN agenciesListen /
The world will need to recruit more than five million teachers if the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education is to be achieved by the 2015 deadline, according to four UN agencies.
In a message marking World Teachers' Day, observed this Saturday (5 October), they say this challenge goes beyond numbers as more teachers must also mean better quality education through training and support.
Guy Ryder heads the International Labour Organization (ILO) which put out the message together with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
"The key to our future is indeed in many ways in the hands of today's teachers; and the key to the future of teachers is in our hands. We must ensure that teachers and the basic human right of education do not become easy prey in the drive to cut public spending. Governments, the business community and workers' organizations need to take the lead in encouraging more talented women and men to take up this very noble profession." (28")
The UN labour chief also emphasized the need to better link quality education, teaching and better jobs to ensure that learning today translates into employability tomorrow.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.