Education International
Education International

World Teachers’ Day 2010: Recovery begins with Teachers!

published 5 October 2010 updated 5 October 2010

On 5 October, millions of teachers and education workers will be joined by children, young people and parents across the globe to celebrate World Teachers’ Day.

They will pay tribute to the teaching profession and its unique role in promoting recovery from crises.

From the global economic crisis which destabilised many developed economies in the last year, to humanitarian disasters, such as the earthquake in Haiti and floods in Pakistan, the role of teachers has been vital to the social, economic and intellectual rebuilding of communities in which we all live and work.

As the global union representing 30 million education workers around the world, Education International (EI) is proud to acknowledge the profound contribution of all teachers from pre-school to university.

EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, said: “Being a teacher means belonging to the most valuable profession. Wherever communities face hardship, teachers are immediately present on the frontline to help promote recovery. Sadly, in many countries, being a teacher means being paid an unfair wage, being treated unfairly or harassed, and in some cases, living in danger of losing your life.

“Despite these challenges, teachers continue giving to society by teaching and improving the life chances of millions of learners. As UNESCO confirms: ‘Without teachers input to shape education reforms, recovery processes are not likely to achieve all their goals’.

“At a time when the world faces an unprecedented shortage of qualified teachers, when 10 million more teachers must be recruited and trained to achieve internationally agreed goals of quality education for every child, marking World Teachers’ Day is a small step to pay homage to millions of extraordinary heroes in our global community.”

EI has co-signed an official statement with the ILO, UNDP, UNESCO and UNICEF, and will join an official event in Paris, on 5 October, with teachers from Haiti, Lesotho, Mali, Laos, France and Israel to give evidence about the role of teachers in recovery of their society.

Since 1994, when World Teachers’ Day began, EI members have organised activities for teachers. In Uganda, the government has also declared 5 October a public holiday. You can send an e-greeting card or tweet a message with the tag #wtd2010 to your favourite teacher, or download this year’s poster at the website: www.5oct.org