World Teachers Day is an annual event celebrated on 5th October. Instituted in 1994, the day commemorates the signing of the recommendations concerning the Status of Teachers by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) and ILO (International Labour Organization). A new recommendation was formulated in 1997 to include the status of higher education teaching personnel.
It was called “The UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997)”.
World Teachers Day is thus celebrated to raise concern for the improvement of the status of educators in the world.
It aims for the holistic improvement of teachers including their methods of teaching, their social status and also their higher studies.
World Teacher’s Day 2019
World Teacher’s Day 2019 will be celebrated on Saturday, 5th October under UNESCO’s guidelines. The theme of the World Teachers Day 2019 is – “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.”
An event on the occasion will take place at the Paris Headquarters of UNESCO on Monday, 7th October.
A panel discussion will be held on how to attract people towards the teaching profession and what necessary policy changes are required for it.
Similar such global events are organized by the UNESCO in collaboration with UNICEF, UNDP and other partners.
Why is World Teacher’s Day Celebrated? /History
On 5th October 1966, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) and ILO (International Labour Organization) jointly signed a recommendation called “The ILO/UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers (1966).
The recommendation was adopted at an intergovernmental conference in Paris, called by UNESCO with co-operation of the ILO.
The recommendation sets a benchmark for the standard of education of teachers, their higher studies, recruitment procedure, employment, salary and reimbursements and also their work environment.
Considering the words of recommendations as guidelines, the World Teacher’s Day is celebrated with the objective of making people aware of the contributions of teachers in building individual capacities and the nations as well.
World Teacher’s Day Celebrations
World Teachers Day is celebrated under the guidelines of UNESCO and Education International (EI); the latter is a GUF (Global Union Federation) consisting of Teachers’ Trade Unions with 401 member organizations from 172 countries. It serves as a representational body of around 30 million personnel associated with the education industry right from the primary level to the university level.
Both UNESCO and EI organize worldwide campaigns in collaboration with local governments and other interested parties, to spread public awareness about the significance of teachers and their usefulness for the holistic development of a student as well as the society.
Every year the campaign focuses on a specific theme adopted specially for that particular year. Like, in 2017, the theme was “Empowering Teachers” and in 2018 the theme was “The Right to Education means the Right to a Qualified Teacher”.
The campaigns aim to bring to fore the neglected concerns of the teachers in all the levels of education from primary to university. World Teachers’ Day is celebrated in more than a hundred countries around the world with each country having its own events for the occasion. Students arrange special events for their teachers on World Teachers’ Day.
Countries form new educational policies that are consistent with the guidelines of 1966 recommendations.
World Teacher’s Day Significance
World Teachers’ Day draws the world’s attention to a number of issues related to the teaching community including, teachers at primary level, middle level, and graduation level; teachers in government or private institutions and the teachers of vocational or other courses.
The issues that have been listed in the 1966 recommendation include – recruitment, initial training, job security, part-time service, professional freedom, promotion, assessment, rights and responsibilities, participation in education among others. These are very essential parameters that decide the status of teachers and hence the status of students and the country.
The World Teachers’ Day also addresses the issues of gender and salary equality and violence against teachers.
How to Celebrate World Teacher’s Day?
Below given are some of the significant ways to celebrate the World Teachers’ Day-
1) Gather Information
If you really want to celebrate World Teachers Day, the first thing you must do is to get all the useful information on the day which you should know. Gather information on the issues mentioned in both the 1966 recommendation as well as 1997 recommendations. Only when you gain sufficient knowledge on the subject that you will realize the need to address the issues and raise the status of teachers in society.
2) Plan the Events
If you want to celebrate the day whether, in school/college or community, it’s better to make arrangements well in advance. Whatever event is in your mind, it should start materializing a couple of days before the main event. Gather your resources; take help from family and friends. Contact teachers and ask them to be a part of the event, by expressing their views and concerns. Get the event covered by media to spread its significance.
3) Organize/Take Part in Seminars
If you have enough resources, then you can organize a seminar of teachers, students and the general public with representatives from the government. The seminar could be presented by a qualified teacher, who must first brief the audiences of the recommendations and also the present-day concerns of the teachers. Audiences should be made aware of new government policies in education and for changing the status of teachers in society.
4) Promote the Recommendations
The least you can do on World Teachers Day is to inform others about the UNESCO/ILO 1966 recommendations and the UNESCO 1997 recommendations. Telling people about the issues addressed in both and how addressing those issues will not only raise the status of teachers but also improve the quality of education and that of students as well. Try to gather support from print and electronic media to spread the words in whatever way possible.
5) Felicitate Educators
World Teachers’ Day belongs to the teachers. It raises their concerns and at the same time commemorates their efforts in shaping the future of students and contributing to the nation’s growth. Organize a felicitation event either in your school/college or community, to appreciate the efforts of teachers. Even a simple handmade card or a bouquet of flowers with a thank you note will do the job. Try also to be receptive to new concerns of the teachers not mentioned in the recommendations.
World Teacher’s Day Themes
The following are the year wise theme of World Teacher’s Day. The annual Themes of World Teachers’ Day are provided below-
The Theme of 2019 – “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.”
The theme of 2018 – “The Right to Education means the Right to a Qualified Teacher.”
The theme of 2017 – “Empowering Teachers.”
The theme of 2016 – “Valuing Teachers, Improving Their Status.”
The theme of 2015 – “Empowering Teachers, Building Sustainable Societies.”
The theme of 2014 – “Invest in the Future: Invest in Teachers.”
The theme of 2013 – “A Call for Teachers.”
The theme of 2012 – “Take a Stand for Teachers.”
The theme of 2011 –“Teachers for Gender Equality.”
The theme of 2010 – “Recovery Begins with Teachers.”
The theme of 2009 – “Build the Future: Invest in Teachers Now.”
The theme of 2008 – “Teachers Matter.”