Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. The Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel was adopted in 1997 to complement the 1966 Recommendation by covering teaching and research personnel in higher education.
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, and the dedicated target (SDG 4.c) recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the Education 2030 agenda, WTD has become the occasion to mark progress and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession.
World Teachers’ Day is co-convened in partnership with UNICEF, the International Labour Organization and Education International.
WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY CELEBRATIONS IN 2020
In 2020, World Teachers’ Day will celebrate teachers with the theme “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”. The day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and draw attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind.
Education during Covid-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly added to the challenges faced by already over-extended education systems throughout the world. It is no exaggeration to say that the world is at a crossroads and, now more than ever, we must work with teachers to protect the right to education and guide it into the unfolding landscape brought about by the pandemic.
The issue of teacher leadership in relation to crisis responses is not just timely, but critical in terms of the contributions teachers have made to provide remote learning, support vulnerable populations, re-open schools, and ensure that learning gaps have been mitigated. The discussions surrounding WTD will also address the role of teachers in building resilience and shaping the future of education and the teaching profession.
International Teachers’ Day
World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers’ Day. World Teachers’ Day aims to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching.
To celebrate World Teachers’ Day, the UNESCO and Education International (EI) mounts a campaign each year to help give the world better understanding of teachers and the role they play in the development of students and society. They partner with the private sector such as media organizations to achieve this purpose. The campaign focus on different themes for every year. For instance, “Empowering Teachers” is the theme for 2017. This was the year World Teachers’ Day commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel, bringing the sometimes-neglected area of teaching personnel at Higher Education institutions into the conversation about the status of teachers.
The UNESCO cites that everyone can help by celebrating the profession, by generating awareness about teacher issues and by ensuring that teacher respect is part of the natural order of things. Schools and students, for instance, prepare an occasion for teachers during this day. More than 100 countries commemorate World Teachers’ Day and each holds its own celebrations such as the case of India, which has been commemorating Teachers’ Day every 5th September.