Next Steps in Managing Teacher Migration

Papers of the Sixth Commonwealth Research Symposium on Teacher Mobility, Recruitment and Migration

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The Sixth Commonwealth Teachers’ Research Symposium brought together education researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to share experiences from developed and developing countries both within and outside the Commonwealth. This collection of papers from the event examines current trends in teacher migration, including education in emergencies, forced migration and pan-African migration, in line with the current global focus on education in conflict affected countries.

Co-published with UNESCO.



A continental teacher recruitment protocol in Africa: Key considerations from the Commonwealth Teacher Recruitment Protocol

The recent review of the impact of the Commonwealth Teacher Recruitment Protocol (CTRP) by Ochs and Jackson (2009) has pointed out that the active international recruitment of teachers is a global issue that is not limited to Commonwealth countries. The review also found that, despite the recognition of the protocol, particularly at the ‘highest international level’, the majority of Commonwealth teachers remain uninformed and, as a result, are open to exploitation and unfair labour practices. This paper draws on the literature identifying the challenges and lessons in implementing the CTRP to initiate and explore the important debate on the development of a continental teacher mobility protocol for Africa. Taking note that the development of a recruitment protocol for Africa has recently been initiated by the African Union (Kaluba, 2010), this paper argues for the consideration of key issues to ensure that the recruitment protocol is uniquely African and addresses the unique challenges of the recruitment of teachers in Africa. The key issues include consideration of: the African identity, which is constituted by both geographical and cultural criteria, as well as rethinking the indigenised African situation beyond the confines of Eurocentric concepts and categories (Higgs and Keevy, 2009); moving from ‘policy borrowing’ to ‘policy learning’ as the mobility protocol is developed (Chakroun, 2010); gathering accurate data on teacher recruitment in Africa to inform the mobility protocol; recognising qualifications through qualifications frameworks in Africa (Samuels and Keevy, 2008); and increasing the professionalisation of teachers in Africa (Ochs, 2011).


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