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World Teachers’ Day promotes empowerment of educators

A lesson takes place at Jagadguru School in Kathmandu, Nepal. Source: De Visa / Shutterstock

Teachers have one of the most important responsibilities on the planet in that they are tasked with shaping generations of children – a fact recognised on UNESCO’s annual World Teachers’ Day.

Marked each October 5 since 1994, the theme of World Teachers’ Day in 2017 is “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers”, reiterating the need for teachers to be empowered and the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted two years ago.

World Teachers’ Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers in 1966, which establishes the rights and responsibilities of teachers, international standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment and employment.

“Teaching should be regarded as a profession: it is a form of public service which requires of teachers expert knowledge and specialised skills, acquired and maintained through rigorous and continuing study,” reads the Recommendation.

“It also calls for a sense of personal and corporate responsibility for the education and welfare of the pupils in their charge.”

The UNESCO Institute of Statistics has found that to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030, the world will need 69 million teachers.

This year also marks 20 years since UNESCO adopted the Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel. According to UNESCO, higher education teaching personnel are too often overlooked in terms of discussions about the status of teachers.

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