Monday, October 5, 2015

World Teacher's Day : Education is our goal

"We will ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems. ... "

Incheon Declaration, WEF 2015

The Incheon Declaration at the World Education Forum (WEF) in May 2015 clearly recognized the importance of empowerment. 

At the forum 1600 participants from 160 countries committed to “ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems”.

World Teachers' Day is celebrated since 5 October 1994. The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) joint signing of the UNESCO/ International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommendation concerning the status of teachers. This recommendation is morally binding for all countries.

However, local events may be on some other date close to October 5, so that they do not fall during fall (northern hemisphere) or spring (southern hemisphere) school vacations. 

“Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies” is the World Teachers' Day slogan for 2015.

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics estimates that to achieve the goal of universal primary education by 2020 countries will need to recruit a total of 12.6 million primary teachers.

World Teachers’ Day on October 5 highlights the fact that teachers must be empowered as a critical step towards quality education and sustainable societies.

In 2013, on the World Teacher's Day, Unesco claimed for quality education provided by well trained, valued, supported and motivated teachers.

This year, the Day comes just after the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations’ General Assembly.

It represents the first opportunity to set out a roadmap for teachers in the new Education 2030 agenda.

Education is the 4th goal after growth and employment, sustainable consumption and production, and climate change. The Incheon Declaration, which constitutes the commitment of the education community to Education 2030, entrusts UNESCO to lead, coordinate and be the focal point for education within the overall SDG coordination.

Despite global recognition of the importance of teachers in changing children’s lives and building sustainable and prosperous societies, they are all too often undervalued and under-empowered.

Today, 5 October 2015, UNESCO, the Education For All Global Monitoring Report, and Education International are launching a sign up campaign for teachers willing to become advocates for education and help lobby for progress towards the new sustainable development agenda. 
Teachers signing up will receive advocacy toolkits, and country specific information to help them lobby for change in their country.

credits: Unesco

Worldwide there is a growing shortage of quality teachers and inadequate professional training. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics estimates that to achieve universal primary education by 2020 countries will need to recruit a total of 10.9 million primary teachers as I wrote above.

All these factors result in equity gaps in access and learning which mostly affect the poorest regions and schools and the earliest grades. This is particularly damaging, as there is clear evidence that the earliest years of a child’s development are the most critical.

Education and the Global Goals

Education is essential to the success of every one of the 17 new goals. Sustainable development post-2015 begins with Education.

The international community must create a space to re-consider its commitments and obligations to the young and the marginalized in the world, whose voices are often muted. Working together it is imperative that all interested stakeholders recommit themselves to unlocking the transformative power of education.

UIS infographics

Activities : 

  • Register your celebration for World Teachers' Day 2015 and share your plans with other teachers who may wish to participate or promote your event! 

  • Send an e-card and find out more about WTD

My thoughts:

It's true that teachers are too often undervalued and under-empowered. But if we  love to be a teacher, the most important are our students.

I was a teacher for the 30 years in different schools. The first students I taught are now teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, journalists. Others quit higher education and prefered to follow further education and they are excellent professionals on their work.

The last generation I taught in secondary education, high-schools, started university last September.

It is such a mixed feeling of pride and joy to think of my students as young adults. The children that I helped to educate. I remember every new school year, the new students, their fears and joy. I was excited every year and prayed to be the best teacher for all of them, to be able to satisfy the needs and expectations of every student, no matter their capacities.

I'm happy of my career as a teacher. For more than 30 years I had a new group of students. They came from different backgrounds, cultures, and had different experiences to share with me and classmates.

Today, I'm still teaching online. And I write on my blog to share some experiences and educational resources with teachers in the world. 

"Teachers are the key in changing children's lives and building sustainable and prosperous societies."

I'm proud to be a teacher.

"An education system is only as goog as its teachers"


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