World Teachers’ Day 2023: Teachers we need for education we want


ACCESS TO quality education is a fundamental human right. It is also critical to meeting the biggest challenges of our time. From eradicating poverty and achieving social justice to fighting climate change and achieving sustainable development, teachers are central to this vision of the future.

They are the heart of education. Yet in many countries teachers are leaving the profession they love, and fewer young people aspire to become teachers. UNESCO estimates that the world needs over 69 million new teachers by 2030, and the shortage only continues to grow. Urgent action is imperative.

It is also estimated that approximately 55 per cent of teachers are planning to exit the system prematurely due to burnout, poor remuneration, poor working conditions, disrespect from parents and the wider community and, yes, fear for their physical safety.

Ensuring teachers everywhere are well trained, well supported and well remunerated is the only way to reverse the teacher shortage and start building the education workforce we need for the future we want.

On World Teachers’ Day on Thursday, join the global mobilisation calling on governments everywhere to invest in teachers and in quality public education.

Here's how you can add your voice. Thank a teacher for the work they do. Listen to their plight and help bring attention to the challenges facing education. Join the advocacy for enhanced funding for education. Let them know their labour of love is appreciated.

World Teachers’ Day is held annually on October 5 to celebrate all teachers around the globe. It commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 International Labour Organization and UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ILO/UNESCO) recommendation concerning the status of teachers, which sets benchmarks for the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment and teaching and learning conditions.

The recommendation on the status of higher education teaching personnel was adopted in 1997 to complement the 1966 recommendation by covering teaching personnel in higher education. World Teachers’ Day has been celebrated since 1994.

It is a day to celebrate how teachers are transforming education, but also to reflect on the support they need to fully deploy their talent and vocation, and to rethink the way ahead for the profession globally. World Teachers’ Day is co-convened in partnership with the ILO, UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Education International (EI).

Being a teacher provides the unique opportunity to make a transformative and lasting impact on the lives of others, shaping sustainable futures and offering personal fulfilment. However, the world faces an unprecedented global teacher shortage exacerbated by a decline in their working conditions and status.

With the theme "The teachers we need for the education we want: The global imperative to reverse the teacher shortage," the 2023 celebrations aim to put the importance of reversing the decline in the number of teachers and then starting to increase that number at the top of the global agenda.

Through various activities, we must advocate for a dignified and valued teaching profession, analyse their challenges, and showcase inspiring practices to attract, retain and motivate teachers and educators.

We must also examine the ways in which education systems, societies, communities and families recognise, appreciate and actively support teachers. The day’s observances are an opportune time for reflection: reflecting upon the worth and contribution of teachers to the growth and development of the society.

Without quality teachers who are endowed with the means, support and resources needed to deliver quality education, a society is doomed to intellectual darkness.

Teachers are the vehicles that drive a government’s human development agenda. They are the means by which the society charts a brighter and better future, one filled with hope and a promise for a better tomorrow. Teachers form the basis of every other profession. They hold the key to unlocking human potential, their impact being felt for future generations.

The quality of any education system is directly related to the quality of its teachers. Societies that don’t value and treat teachers well do so at their own peril, diminishing their future development prospects.

The theme suggests that we see our education system from an endgame perspective, clarifying the education system we want based on our socio-economic development agenda and working backwards to ensure that this agenda is driven by teachers with the commensurate aptitudes, skills and competencies to deliver on that transformative human development paradigm.

The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers. World Teachers Day is an opportunity to validate the immense contribution of our teachers.


"World Teachers’ Day 2023: Teachers we need for education we want"

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