Resolution on Organising Student Teachers, Early-Stage Teachers and Researchers

The 6th Education International (EI) World Congress meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, from 22nd  to 26th July 2011:


1.      Recognising that student teachers, early-stage teachers and researchers are a key group in determining the future of children and students in education, the future of  teacher unions and of the entire teaching profession;


2.       Acknowledging UN Data on the future global demand for recruiting more teachers in order to meet the needs of education systems striving to achieve the Education For All Goals by 2015 and the Millennium Development Goals;


3.      Notingthat the average age of members of the teaching profession, particularly in OECD countries, is rising rapidly and that there is, therefore, a need to increase the proportion of early-stage teachers and researchers in most education systems;


4.      Observingthat  a significant proportion of early-stage educators and researchers leave the profession within the first few years, often because of difficult working environments and the  absence of support  and mentoring;


5.      Recognisingthe role that teacher trade unions can play in attracting and retaining individuals in the profession;


6.      Concernedabout the increase in fixed-term contracts and reduced protection employment within the early years of entry to the profession;


7.      Recognisingthe importance of providing opportunities for the voice of young educators and researchers to be heard  in the creation of the policies and programs that will affect their future and the development of future students;


8.      Affirmingthat good salaries and working conditions and continuous professional development  have a significant positive impact on both teacher retention and student achievement;


9.      Consideringthe need to promote active membership and participation by early-stage educators and researchers in trade unions;


The Sixth World Congress


10.    Recommends that member organisations make it a priority to recruit early-stage teachers and researchers, to identify the issues affecting them, to meet their needs and equip them with knowledge of their rights and train them to assume leadership positions within the trade unions;


11.    Urgesmember organisations to ensure the integration of early-stage teachers and researchers in all union activities;


12.    Urgesmember organisations to develop strategies for the recruitment of early-stage teachers and researchers and ensure their active involvement in the trade union movement;


13.    Encouragesmember organisations to lobby for induction programmes to support student teachers and early-stage researchers in the first phase of entry to their professions and to make the professions more attractive ongoing career choices by guaranteeing they receive permanent employment;


14.    Requests that member organisations lobby their governments to establish comprehensive youth employment strategies, including a strategy for the recruitment of teachers and researchers.


15.    Mandatesthe Executive Board


(i)       to campaign for access to lifelong professional development as an important basis for high quality education;

(ii)      to promote policies and programs for overcoming the difficulties that early-stage teachers and researchers face while entering the profession;

(iii)     to promote the use of ICT for exchanging ideas and promoting the development of links between early-stage teachers and between researchers;

(iv)     to intensify its lobbying efforts with international institutions to promote the interests of early-stage teachers and researchers; and,

(v)      to build and strengthen partnerships with youth organisations.

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