World Teachers Day highlights need to transform education — Global Issues

The statement comes in their joint message on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, which is celebrated annually on October 5.

The international community is committed to transforming education – a process that must be led by teachers.

A critical partner

That is the firm belief of Audrey Azoulay, Director General of the UN Educational and Cultural Organization, UNESCO; Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director General of the International Labor Organization (ILO); Catherine Russell, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and David Edwards, Secretary General of Education International.

“Today, on World Teachers’ Day, we celebrate the critical role of teachers in transforming students’ potential by ensuring they have the tools they need to take responsibility for themselves, for others and for the planet,” said they.

“We call on countries to ensure that teachers are trusted and recognized as knowledge producers, reflective practitioners and policy partners.”

Keep the promise

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that teachers are the engine at the heart of global education systems, the statement said.

Without them, it is impossible to provide every student with inclusive, equitable and quality education. Teachers are also essential to recovering from a pandemic and preparing students for the future.

“But unless we change the circumstances for teachers, the promise of that education will be out of reach for those who need it most,” the partners warned.

They recalled that the Transforming Education Summit, held at UN headquarters last month, reaffirmed that transformation requires the right number of competent, motivated and qualified teachers and teaching staff in the right place with the right skills.

Students participate in an accelerated education program at the Kashojwa Learning Center, Uganda.

© UNICEF/ Zahara Abdul

Students participate in an accelerated education program at the Kashojwa Learning Center, Uganda.

Demotivated, drop out

In many parts of the world, however, classrooms are overcrowded, they said, with too few teachers, as well as overworked, demotivated and unsupported.

As a result, an unprecedented number are leaving the profession. There is also a significant decrease in people studying to become teachers.

“If these issues are not addressed, the loss of a professional teaching force could be a fatal blow to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4,” they warned, citing global efforts to ensure quality education for all by 2030.

In addition, the loss of teachers disproportionately affects students in remote or poor areas, as well as women and girls, and vulnerable and marginalized populations.

Global shortage

The partners pointed to recent estimates showing that a further 24.4 million primary teachers worldwide, along with approximately 44.4 million secondary teachers, will be needed if the world is to have universal primary education by the end of the decade. .

24 million more teachers will be needed in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia alone, about half the number of new teachers needed in developing countries.

These regions have some of the most overcrowded classrooms in the world, and the most overburdened teachers and understaffed education systems. A remarkable 90 percent of their secondary schools suffer from severe educational deficits.

“That’s why it’s the single most important thing we can do to improve the learning and well-being of students and communities,” the partners said.

“The valuable work teachers do must also translate into better working conditions and pay.”

Education innovators awarded

In this regard, three innovative programs from Benin, Haiti and Lebanon have been recognized for their efforts to strengthen the role of teachers and transform education, both in their communities and beyond.

These projects are the recipients of the 2022 UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development, which will be awarded at a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday.

They are run by the Graines de Paix Foundation, the organization PH4 Global and the American University of Beirut, who will share a $300,000 endowment to help further their initiatives.

Promoting Peace, Preventing Violence

Graines de Paix organizes a program in Benin called Learn in peace, teach without violence (Learning in Peace, Education without Violence) that offers educational solutions aimed at the prevention of all forms of violence and the prevention of radicalization.

The project also promotes well-being and a culture of peace, security, justice and inclusion. More than 4,500 teachers have been trained and more than 250,000 children have been reached.

by his Training teachers to transform Haiti program, P4H Global strives to improve the quality of education in the Caribbean country by educating teachers as well as school principals, parents and community members.

Strategies for Success

The goal is to transform teachers’ methods into effective student-centered strategies that cultivate critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity. These are reinforced by measures such as personalized feedback via social media and messaging apps.

More than 8,000 teachers and 350,000 students in Haiti have benefited from the program.

Under the TAMAM School-Based Education Reform Project, university researchers and educators in Lebanon are collaborating to develop strategies based on the socio-cultural context of the Arab region.

The initiative covers 70 schools in 10 countries in the region and has benefited 1,000 education partners, with 100 improvement projects initiated in the last 15 years.

About the price

The UNESCO Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development was established in 2008 to support the improvement of teaching and learning quality in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The award, which is presented every two years, is supported by the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance.

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