Commonwealth To Develop Teacher Recruitment Policy


An agreement setting out guidelines for the recruitment of teachers within the Commonwealth could be ready by September. According to a release from the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, the Commonwealth Working Group on Teacher Recruitment is expected to submit a draft agreement on teacher recruitment to Commonwealth education ministers by April 2004 and a Ministerial Group is expected to finalize the document by September.
Jamaica, which has been in the forefront of advocating for a protocol to govern the recruitment of teachers, will be among senior officials from 11 Commonwealth countries at the first meeting of the Working Group on Teacher Recruitment set for Lesotho, South Africa from February 23 to 25.
The meeting will be hosted by Lesotho’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Training, Lesao Lehohla, with Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General Winston Cox as chairman.
The Working Group was set up during the 15th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers held in October 2003, to develop appropriate and ethical codes of conduct for the recruitment of teachers in the Commonwealth.
A release from the Commonwealth Secretariat said the senior officials would consider whether present practices offered sufficient protection to countries that have invested heavily in teacher training and to teachers recruited for service abroad. The group will also advise on the measures countries should take to prevent the excessive loss of teachers through unregulated recruitment practices and the measures to be employed to assist and train more teachers in seriously affected countries.
Other countries expected to attend the meeting are Barbados, India, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, St. Lucia, Seychelles, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Zambia.
Representatives of non-government organisations including the Commonwealth Consortium on Education and the University of Nottingham Centre for Comparative Research will also be in attendance.
Close to 1,000 Jamaican teachers have been recruited to teach in the United Kingdom and the United States. The Government through the Ministry of Education has been advocating for guidelines to streamline the recruitment process and also to protect the interest of the teachers.

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