World Teachers’ Day
World Teachers’ Day is held annually on 5 October since 1994, it commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions.
The theme: “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession,” focuses on attracting young candidates to the teaching profession which is a major challenge around the world and this is not just a supply-side issue. For many potential young candidates under the age of 30, the world of work is now a much different place. In years past, young school leavers and graduates may not have doubted teaching as their first career choice. Now, they are less convinced as they witness friends and peers attracted to higher paying jobs in more lucrative sectors at home and abroad.
World Teachers’ Day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, to take stock of achievements, and to address some of the issues central for attracting and keeping the brightest minds and young talents in the profession.
The theme also focuses on increasing teacher shortages; young teachers are leaving the profession by the thousands worldwide. Statistics show that urgent action is needed in order to curb a looming teacher shortage. The world needs 69 million new teachers to meet the Education 2030 Agenda. Global inequalities may increase, as 70% of sub-Saharan countries face acute shortages of teachers, rising to 90% at secondary level. (Education International, 2019)
On this World Teachers’ Day, governments are being called on to: ensure decent salaries and working conditions for all educators, provide induction and mentoring programmes so that young teachers are well-grounded into the profession. This will in turn give them the academic freedom and professional autonomy they require to exercise leadership and act as agents of change.
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality Education, and the dedicated target (SDG 4.c) recognising teachers as key to the achievement of the Education 2030 agenda, World Teachers’ Day has become the occasion to evaluate progress and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges to the promotion of the teaching profession.
This year, the celebration will be held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, gathering many voices together to examine the responsiveness of national strategies for sustainably staffing schools and educational institutions with adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported teachers and educators within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems. (WTD 2019 CONCEPT NOTE)
This celebration will take place on the 7th of October, and it will be marked by testimonies of classroom teachers and trainee teachers, panel discussions with guest speakers, a discussion around the launch of a book focusing on the life of a teacher, and a performance by a young artist celebrating teachers.