Held annually on 5 October, World Teachers’ Day (WTD) is an important date in the calendar of the entire educational community. Celebrated since 1994 across the globe, it is an opportunity to honour the teaching profession and support teachers in their efforts empowering people to build a better world.
The theme for this year’s World Teachers’ Day is: "Take a stand for teachers".
This is a clear call to all stakeholders to acknowledge teachers’ crucial role in transforming the lives of learners at all levels of education.
Moreover, the Day should be a time to reflect on the difficult economic and social context in which teachers work and find ways of improving their professional status and working conditions and those of all education personnel.
Enhancing the status of teachers
This year’s WTD coincides with the 11th session of the Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendations concerning Teaching Personnel (CEART). This will be held in Geneva from 8-12 October.
Two main Recommendations define international standards for the teaching profession: the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (1966) and the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997).
Governments worldwide claim to support the values and principles in the Recommendations. However, many do not actually demonstrate respect for the rights enshrined in them, nor do they implement policies that comply with them.
So, it is critically important that the CEART monitors the application of the Recommendations, ruling on violations of teachers’ rights.
In Geneva, the Joint Committee will examine reports on the application of the Recommendations and communicate its findings to relevant authorities so that they may take appropriate action.
EI will use the WTD, the CEART session and other opportunities to highlight the state of the teaching profession and education worldwide and call for urgent corrective and proactive action.
“Teachers play a critical role towards the achievement of the Education for All goals by 2015, nurturing future generations and therefore ensuring the sustainable development of societies,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen.
“Highly trained, professionally qualified and motivated teachers, working in well-resourced and supportive environments can provide quality education to young people and adults.”
You can help us promote World Teachers Day 2012 by using and distributing our multilingual posters.