5 October: World Teachers’ Day

Today is World Teachers’ Day. The day we honour those who encouraged us to be better individuals, community members, and global citizens by showing us how to explore the world around us. How to ask questions and problem solve. How to take risks when needed and be safe when it was dangerous. Teachers do not just teach rote learning, they are caring, innovative people who know that by connecting with and teaching our youngest members of society, we can create change, often towards a more peaceful future.

Marking the first World Teacher’s Day after the adoption of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, senior United Nations officials appealed to the international community to value, support, and empower teachers, “for it is they who will educate a new generation of children who, in turn, will carry forward all our goals to build a better world for all.”

“Today, as the global community comes together around the new 2030 Agenda, the role teachers play has never have been more important,” said the heads of key UN agencies in a joint statement on the Day.

Quality teachers are increasingly recognized as the most important factor in children’s learning- and thus, in improving educational attainment levels, increasing the ability of young people to participate in society and today’s knowledge economies, boosting productivity and prosperity.

The statement was issued by UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova; UN International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Director-General, Guy Ryder; UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director, Anthony Lake; UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Administrator, Helen Clark; and Fred van Leeuwen, the General Secretary of Education International, which represents teachers’ organizations across the globe.

The statement underscored the mounting shortage of quality teachers, unequal distribution of trained teachers, and inadequate or non-existent national standards for the teaching profession.

These are all key contributing factors to wide equity gaps in access and learning. According to estimates compiled by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, to achieve universal primary education by 2020, countries will need to recruit a total of 10.9 million primary teachers.

“This is a global education crisis in the making – unless we act,” said the officials, noting that the looming crisis was recognized at the 2015 World Education Forum, in Incheon, South Korea, where leaders 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.

The new global education goal, Sustainable Development Goal 4, which is at the heart of the Education 2030 Agenda, call for “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

“Realizing this goal is critical to achieving all our global development targets – for strong societies depend on well-educated citizens and a well-trained workforce. But we can only realize this agenda if we invest in recruiting, supporting, and empowering teachers,” explained the UN agency heads.

In a separate statement on the Day, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) highlighted the key roles teachers play in empowering students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century and better connect with people and experiences beyond their borders.

“Being well-trained, dedicated, enthusiastic and interactive, our teachers are reshaping the future of our school children. The ways our teachers are working through the reform are being noted beyond UNRWA,” said Caroline Pontefract, Director of Education at UNRWA.

This year’s celebrations give the Agency an important opportunity to recognize the important work of UNRWA teachers, who continue to deliver quality education despite the many difficulties the face, including the ongoing crisis in Syria and last year’s devastating conflict in Gaza, as well as an unprecedented funding shortfall in the Agency’s core programming budget had risked a delay in the school year in Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank, Syria and Lebanon.

World Teachers’ Day, held annually since 1994, commemorates the anniversary of the signing in 1966 of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers, and celebrates the essential role of teachers in providing quality education at all levels. The Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers has, essentially, served as a charter of rights for teachers worldwide.

In some parts of the world, they celebrate the Teachers’ Day grandly with various events simple because a teacher is the one who made us whoever we are today, and guided us in the path of knowledge towards a new world of science and technology.  Our parents are always there for us. Yet, teachers are the ones who guide us with education.

Everyone is doing well and truly stunning work when they get good teachers. The World Teachers’ Day is a special day for them to feel the same way as we feel in having great teachers in our lives. We should be thankful for our teachers who taught us with knowledge which they acquired from their teachers.

You might lose what you earn; you might lose your valuables. But the knowledge you gained will be always with you. So, shouldn’t you be grateful to the people who taught you what you know and respect them for the taking trouble to teach you? Have you ever thought how difficult it is to be a teacher? It is not as easy as it seems to be. He/she needs lots of patience to control the students. And it’s a great responsibility for them as well. They too have to study hard, in order to make you a good study plan and to find out a method which is easier for you to understand. When the exam results come they have to accept whatever the pupils get, despite their efforts. And of course the teacher is the one to get the blame if a student fails.

Life is too short to waste. Everyone is busy with studies and exams yet we can never forget to celebrate the World Teachers’ Day to make our teachers feel appreciated for the wonderful job they are performing.

Buy a gift or card and gift them beautiful messages. Or take time to make something special for them. The value of the gift doesn’t really matter; the intention of giving it is what is more important. A single person can make their day special with happiness and joy. Give them something special to surprise them.  They will love a surprise. So, make it special for your teacher in your own special way. Make your teacher happy. And always remember, being a good student is a gift you can give them all year along.

(Source: United Nations, 2015)

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YUVA

Registered in February 2015, YUVA started as a group of enthusiastic individuals, and today it has mobilised thousands of young people with a simple aim of creating a better future for children and youth of Mauritius. At the heart of YUVA’s duty lies the conviction that the collective destinies of the human race are bound together.

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