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Fair Trade for Teachers

Transferability of Teacher Qualifications in the Commonwealth

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International teacher migration poses a wide range of challenges to the recognition and transferability of teacher qualifications across borders. Of primary concern is ensuring that highly trained teachers are able to move freely between countries without their professional qualifications and skills being discounted.



This study aims to enhance recognition of teacher qualifications across borders and between the member countries of the Commonwealth. The comparability table developed for the study enables clear analysis of primary and secondary teacher qualifications offered in 35 Commonwealth countries, in an accessible and easy-to-read format. Country-by-country comparability tables are included as an annex to the study, and are also available separately (Commonwealth Teacher Qualifications Comparability Table; February 2010; 80pp; £10.00; ISBN 978-1-84929-015-9).



The study was prepared for the Commonwealth Secretariat by the South African Qualifications Authority.



Please note that Fair Trade for Teachers includes a copy of the Commonwealth Teacher Qualifications Comparability Table as an insert in the back pocket of the main book.

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Introduction and Background

The challenges associated with the recognition and transferability of teacher qualifications across the Commonwealth are not new, and remain closely interrelated with the increased migration of skilled professionals internationally. For many years significant efforts in the Commonwealth have focused on addressing the skewed nature of teacher migration, mainly from developing countries (such as South Africa, Jamaica and India) to more developed countries (including United Kingdom, Australia and Canada), and finding ways in which this brain drain could be limited, and even reversed (see for example UNESCO 2006, ILO and UNESCO 2006, Miller 2007, Edwards and Spreen 2007, Ochs 2007, McNamara et al., 2007, Bertram et al., 2007, and Degazon-Johnson 2007). An area that has received less attention, probably for good reason as it can easily be seen to contribute to teacher migration, is the limited recognition of the qualifications and experience of teachers from sending countries (usually developing countries) working in receiving countries (often, but not always, more developed countries).

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