IMPROVING TEACHER QUALITY, A KEYWORD FOR IMPROVING EDUCATION FACING GLOBAL CHALLENGES
Research shows that teachers are the single most important factor in student learning in schools. Students who have access to highly qualified teachers achieve at a higher rate, regardless of other factors.
Teachers to be highly qualified must be well prepared, especially in improving the quality of education facing global challenges. For this purpose, we need teacher education reform that aligns teacher preparation with the demands of an emerging information society and an increasingly interdependent world at the end of the 20th Century. One concern focused on the quality of students who plan to enter the teaching profession. Generally, teacher profession is not attractive both for the prospective students and for the qualified experienced teachers, because of the low of teachers’ welfare. As the result, the good potential students prefer to enter the other profession than enter the teaching profession, while the qualified experienced teacher, draw away from teaching profession and then enter the other profession that ensure better welfare whenever they have the opportunity for doing that. For the teaching profession to be attractive there is a need to improve teachers welfare by increasing their salary and providing good work condition that support them to carry out their task professionally. The second issue is program reform, which led to the development of standards of teacher preparation in various fields, and changes the curriculum itself.
Changing the curriculum must be competency-based, point out the teacher competency. According to Heil (2003), ‘. . . a key role for higher education institutions must be to graduate future teachers who think globally, have international experience, demonstrate foreign language competence, and are able to incorporate a global dimension into their teaching’.