How important is it to have a good teacher?Published: Apr 28, 2022 Reading time: 5 minutes
Education is not only a fundamental human right and a social good, it is a public responsibility. It transforms lives by driving economic and social development. It promotes peace, tolerance, and social inclusion. It is key to eradicating poverty. And it enables children and young people to fulfill their potential and live a successful life.
Key facts according to the United Nations
• More than 260 million children worldwide are out of school.
• Education enables upward socio-economic mobility and is key to escaping poverty.
• Significant progress has been made over the past decade in increasing access to education at all levels, especially for girls.
• More than half of adolescent children worldwide do not reach even a minimum level in reading and mathematics.
• In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, most countries announced temporary school closures, affecting more than 91% of students worldwide. Meanwhile, some 77 million children have spent 18 months or more out of class since the pandemic began.
• Nearly 369 million children who depend on school meals have had to source their daily nutrition in other ways.
• To overcome these challenges, educational opportunities for teachers are needed without discrimination. Public institutions also need to employ equitable standards of education for all students.
In many places in the world, however, children are deprived of the right to education.
Despite an overall increase in access to education almost 60 million children do not attend primary school, whilst 62 million miss out on lower secondary school, and 138 million do not complete upper secondary.
One major reason
is violence in areas of ongoing conflicts, such as Syria, Yemen, Sudan, and Nigeria. A second major reason is a poverty. In the worst cases, poverty forces children to work —most commonly on smallholder farms— and this means they leave school early or never enter school in the first place.
In low-income countries, public finances for education are very low which also leads to the next hurdle and that is the shortage of qualified and experienced teachers— particularly female teachers. Having a quality, inspiring teacher who can impart knowledge and wisdom is foundational for students to be able to use their acquired knowledge in their everyday lives and in their future.
People in Need (PIN) focuses on education not only in developing countries such as Ethiopia and Nepal but also on inclusive education in Kosovo and in emergency situations in countries like Syria and Myanmar. Because we strongly believe that no one should be left behind, we also support vocational-technical education to help young people increase their earning potential. Moreover, we introduce modern teaching methods into primary and secondary schools and train teachers to become proficient in using these methods.
In Syria 2.4 million children —over one-third of Syria’s child population— are currently absent from school. Even if these children made it to school, the educational challenges are enormous: a staggering 40% of school infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. There is a great lack of schools, child-friendly spaces and a lack of jobs for teachers due to the conflict.
PIN has been providing educational support in Syria since 2013. Working in partnership with schools, PIN provides a holistic support package that includes funds to rehabilitate damaged buildings, specialised training for educational staff, teacher kits, fuel for heating, water, and monthly staff incentives. PIN also provides school bags and stationery for students, and furniture such as desks, tables, and whiteboards.
As many children are traumatised by the conflict, PIN also provides basic psychosocial support (PSS) for children by organising various creative workshops and games led by trained staff.
Additionally, PIN supports child-friendly spaces that function as safe, fun, and inclusive spaces for children to learn, play, socialise, and develop. These centres are established in internally displaced person camps and provide basic psychosocial support to improve the well-being of children by organising various PSS activities.
Nepal has made significant progress in education over the past twenty years. The net enrolment rate in primary schools has risen to 97 percent. However, the country still has many challenges to tackle. Issues that persist in education include poor quality and inequity in access, geographical remoteness, gender, and socioeconomic and ethnic differences. Key barriers to enrolment and attendance include poverty, social exclusion, disability, migration, child labour, social norms and gender bias. Also, many girls are married off at a young age and never attend school.
People in Need supports the most marginalised girls from rural areas in southern Nepal who have left school before or after marriage. Although it is illegal to marry before the age of 20 in Nepal, girls are often married off before the age of 18. In addition, young brides in Terai communities are at risk of dowry-related violence— acid attacks, extortion, mental, physical and sexual harassment, violence and possibly murder.
PIN aims to improve the girls' quality of life by equipping them with basic life skills. In addition to literacy, PIN also looks after their health and that of their families, increasing both their resilience to violence and their ability to negotiate important life decisions.
Education in Ethiopia is at a very low level, with more than half of its adult population being illiterate. Half of Ethiopians under 18 years old (only 57% of men and 53% of women) complete primary school, the main reasons being a lack of schools, unqualified teachers, a poor theoretical curriculum, and the lack of teaching facilities and materials.
People in Need not only builds or reconstructs schools, provides school supplies but also introduces modern teaching methods and trains teachers. PIN also provides access to education for many marginalised girls and young women who were not able to go to school or dropped out because they come from very large families who cannot afford to send all their children to school. At the same time, they need helping hands in the fields and in the household to provide for their livelihoods.