Quality education is a gateway -- THE gateway -- to better futures for children. There is no societal commitment more noble than that of guaranteeing a high quality education to ALL its children.
What makes for a high quality education?
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2004), a quality education is premised in five dimensions:
Learner Characteristics: The learner's aptitude, readiness for learning, and life experiences are key.
Context: The commitment to high quality learning for ALL by the public, familial, and socio-cultural environments is critical.
Enabling Inputs: The significant investment of both tangible and intangible resources makes all the difference in the quality of the learning experiences.
Teaching and Learning: What is taught, how it is taught, and how it is measured all have direct bearing on the quality of the learning.
Outcomes: The end results reflect the quality of the learning - proficiency in literacy and numeracy, empowering life skills, and values respectful of life and diversity.
All are important components, but NONE more than the persons who craft and manage those five dimensions for the learner. And of those persons, NONE is more important than the teacher.
High quality teachers produce high quality learning. Moreover, they can get it done more effectively when all five of those dimensions are robustly in place.
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