‘Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery’

October 5 is World Teacher’s Day and this year’s theme is “Teachers at the heart of education recovery.” The day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.
According to the United Nations, the Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers “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.”
UNESCO, ILO, UNICEF, and Education International issued a joint statement for World Teacher’s Day 2021:
“Nearly  two  years  since  the  outbreak  of  the  COVID-19  pandemic,  many  education  systems  are  still  facing  significant  disruptions.  Students  and  teachers  in  close  to  60 countries remain affected by full or partial school closures. But whether students are learning in person or remotely, teachers are at the heart of the process.
“The pandemic has shone a light on the irreplaceable value of the teaching profession in society but also on the difficult working conditions facing many teachers. Teachers have been  on  the  frontlines  to  ensure  learning  continuity  when  schools  were  closed  and  to  provide socio-emotional support to their students, especially the most vulnerable ones. They have had to rapidly adapt to remote learning and manage new digital tools, often without  training.  Today,  they  must  assess  and  address  learning  losses  among  their  students, cope with issues of health and safety in the classroom, and leverage remote, hybrid and in-person methods to minimize disruption.
“Today we celebrate the exceptional dedication and courage of all teachers, as well as their capacity to adapt and innovate under very challenging and uncertain conditions. They are at the heart of global education recovery efforts and are key in accelerating progress towards inclusive, equitable and quality education for every learner, in every circumstance.
“Now is the time to recognize the exceptional role teachers play and to empower them with the training, professional development, support and working conditions they need to  deploy  their  talent.  This  is  a  time  of  challenge  but  also  an  opportunity  for  rapid  transformation  to  address  the  unfulfilled  needs  which  have  been  multiplied  by  the  pandemic.  Sub-Saharan  Africa  alone  requires  15  million  more  teachers  to  reach  the  education  goals  by  2030.  Surmounting  these  challenges  requires  bold  commitment,  investment and innovation on a scale like never before.
“A  successful  education  recovery  starts  with  ensuring  teachers’  well-being,  adequate  remuneration and safety, including their prioritization for vaccination together with other key workers.
“A  successful  education  recovery  calls  for  investment  in  more  teachers  and  in  training  and professional development opportunities, so that educators may enrich their practice and gain the skills to integrate and use educational technologies effectively to support learning and adapt to a diversity of learners’ needs.
“Education  recovery  will  be  successful  if  it  is  conducted  hand  in  hand  with  teachers  – giving  them  voice  and  space  to  participate  in  decision-making  and  respecting  their  pedagogical knowledge and expertise as we reimagine the way out of the crisis and build more resilient education systems.
“On World Teachers’ Day, we are not only celebrating every teacher. We are calling on countries to invest in them and prioritize them in global education recovery efforts so that every  learner  has  access  to  a  qualified  and  supported  teacher.  Let’s  stand  with  our  teachers!”
In celebration of World Teacher’s Day, UNESCO and its co-convening partners will host a series of online events from October 4-8, 2021. To view the full program, please visit https://events.unesco.org/event?id=2479558071.


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