World Teachers' Day: 5 October 2018 - the right to education means the right to a qualified teacher

Te Rito Maioha was represented at the World Teachers’ Day international conference at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris by Director of Research and Postgraduate Programmes, Dr Janis Carroll-Lind. 

‘The conference marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which recognises education as a key fundamental right and establishes an entitlement to free compulsory education,’ says Janis. 

‘The conference’s theme was ‘The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher’. It was chosen to remind the global community that the right to education cannot be achieved without the right to trained and qualified teachers.

‘The teacher shortage we are experiencing in New Zealand is also a worldwide challenge. Te Rito Maioha has been very active this year, calling on the government to take urgent action to address teacher supply issues, including the recruitment of early childhood teachers from overseas, better pay and conditions for the existing workforce, and the proactive promotion of teaching as a rewarding career.

‘As an initial teacher education provider, Te Rito Maioha’s graduates make up nearly half of the new early childhood teachers entering the profession each year. Unfortunately, the total number of new teachers is not sufficient to replace the number of qualified teachers who are leaving the workforce.’   

Janis says that Te Rito Maioha strongly believes the government must invest in initiatives to grow the early childhood teaching workforce as a priority.

‘Our tamariki deserve the right to quality early childhood education.

‘At the heart of this right is a highly valued, qualified and well-trained teaching profession. 

‘Too often a lesser focus is placed on early childhood education, yet research shows time and time again that early childhood education is critical to children’s life-long learning and qualified early childhood teachers are just as, if not more, important in these early years.’ 

World Teachers’ Day is celebrated in New Zealand on 29 October this year. 

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