On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, Palestinian education unionists strongly highlighted the need for teachers in their country and worldwide, to be empowered to provide quality education for all students.
Congratulating all teachers on World Teachers’ Day (WTD), “which is such an important date for all of us all over the world,” the General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT) General Secretary Saed Erziqat stressed that “Palestinian teachers certainly need to feel empowered in order to be able to fulfil their tasks and achieve their educational and national mission”.
In line with this year’s WTD theme, ‘Teaching in Freedom, empowering teachers’, he noted that, in spite of very challenging conditions, Palestinian teachers are creative in all fields, and are achieving international as well as regional awards for their work. “Empowered teachers are creative and innovative teachers, and empowerment means students are educated, with high academic achievement,” Erzigat underlined.
Other participants, such as women teachers, counsellors and head mistresses from different regions also shared their view of what it means to be an empowered teacher:
· “Empowered teachers can teach after being trained and having their capacity developed; they can be interactive with students, and have the capacity to convey information using different techniques and methods.”
· “Empowered teachers are those who are capable of applying new and modern techniques.”
· “Empowered teachers are highly qualified, use technology in their teaching, and the most up to date methods of teaching that are used everywhere in the world.”
· “Empowered teachers are able to successfully teach classrooms of students from different and diverse backgrounds with sensitivity.”
One participant also mentioned the role that GUPT plays in supporting teachers’ empowerment in Palestine, explaining that “GUPT empowers teachers by defending their rights, and raising the awareness of both teachers and students of how to defend and enjoy their rights”.
Erziqat concluded by stating that he looks forward to continuing to work closely with Education International (EI) and other EI member organisations for Palestinian teachers’ further empowerment in different fields.
General Union of Palestinian Teachers’ members are currently meeting in Ramallah to review the work the union has been doing on promoting gender equality over the last year.