World Teacher's Day - Taking a stand for teachers

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United Nations Photo by John Isaac, A Bengali teacher instructs a class at a school in a rural village south of Dacca.

"On this day, we call for teachers to receive supportive environments, adequate quality training as well as ‘safeguards’ for teachers’ rights and responsibilities...We expect a lot from teachers – they, in turn, are right to expect as much from us. This World Teachers’ Day is an opportunity for all to take a stand." Irina Bokova, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General

“Take a stand for teachers!” is the slogan of World Teachers’ Day 2012 (5 October) which UNESCO is celebrating along with its partners, the International Labour Organization, UNDP, UNICEF and Education International (EI). 

Taking a stand for the teaching profession means providing adequate training, ongoing professional development, and protection for teachers’ rights.

All over the world, a quality education offers hope and the promise of a better standard of living. However, there can be no quality education without competent and motivated teachers.

Teachers are among the many factors that keep children in school and influence learning. They help students think critically, process information from several sources, work cooperatively, tackle problems and make informed choices.

Why take a stand for teachers? Because the profession is losing status in many parts of the world.. World Teachers’ Day calls attention the need to raise the status of the profession - not only for the benefit of teachers and students, but for society as a whole, to acknowledge the crucial role teachers play in building the future.

At UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the focus of the 2012 World Teachers’ Day celebration will be on how to attract top graduates to teaching and how to raise the status of teachers.

Partners are also urged to organize events around the world in order to make the day a truly international celebration.

Challenges
An estimated 5.4 million more teachers are required to reach Universal Primary Education by 2015. While recruiting new teachers, the quality of teaching and learning must also be improved and schools should be supported in their efforts to attract qualified teachers. The challenge of quantity must be met head-on, while ensuring quality and equity.

World Teachers’ Day is an opportunity to examine issues facing teachers on the national and regional levels from an international perspective and to measure the progress made by national teachers in a global context. A truly international perspective necessitates that all countries accept and celebrate World Teachers’ Day on 5 October.