On October 5th, Education International and its affiliates around the globe celebrated World Teachers' Day in many different forms. Some affiliates approached the day with events, raised awareness, seminars and demonstrations. They all reaffirmed their commitment to transform education and ensure quality public education for all.
Mexico: A great opportunity to strengthen public education systems
On World Teachers' Day, EI´s affiliate in Mexico, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE) organised a hybrid event with 300 participants on site and 70,000 online. EI’s member organisations from across the world also participated at the event. SNTE general secretary, Alfonso Cepeda Salas, referred to this year's theme, “The transformation of education begins with the teachers”,as an urgent call for governments to improve the status of teachers, particularly in post pandemic times when we face school dropouts and loss of learning.
Cepeda Salas said that "we have a great opportunity to strengthen public education systems through the improvement of teachers' working conditions, guaranteeing their professional development and reducing their workload including administrative tasks. He pointed out that “teachers' substantive function is to educate”.
Gabon: Ensuring the success of the governmental reforms to improve teachers’ living and working conditions
The executive board of the Syndicat de l'Éducation Nationale (SENA) in Gabon celebrated World Teachers’ Day in combination with the celebration of Pink October, dedicated to fighting female cancer. SENA reminded the Government of the urgency of fulfilling its commitments aiming to transform education in general and Gabonese schools in particular.
A series of awareness-raising actions were initiated in schools in the capital city and in the interior of the country.
Messages were sent to public authorities, while the union raised awareness among teachers and trade unionists to ensure the success of the reforms undertaken by the State and aiming to improve their living and working conditions.
Mongolia: Developing education into a leading sector of society
The Federation of Mongolian Education and Science Union (FMESU) celebrated World Teachers’ Day in collaboration with the German foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Ministry of Education and Science.
The Minister of Education and Science informed about his speech at the Transforming Education Summit and how the world is planning to transform education. In his speech to the United Nations, he had underlined the need to involve teachers and their representative bodies in areas such as climate change, digital transition, and the education sector.
During the celebration, it was also highlighted that member organisations from the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU)– like the FMESU –will work together towards strengthening success achieved by resolving many issues together for benefit of the work of teachers and education employees, and to develop education into a leading sector.
Portugal: In the current context, education systems cannot do without properly qualified professionals
In Portugal, the Federaçao Nacional dos Professores (FENPROF) sent a message from teachers and educators to the Government of Portugal, the Assembly of the Republic and all Portuguese people, warning that “World Teacher's Day is marked by an increasingly visible and worrying, lack of properly qualified teachers”.
The union underlined that “the teaching profession is undervalued and losing value year after year. This loss of value is imposed upon it, and happens at social, professional and material levels, leading many among the youngest to abandon the profession and young generations not taking teacher training courses”.
It was also adamant that ‘in the context of the global climate crisis, rapid technological transformation–particularly in the world of work, lower levels of trust in public institutions, the erosion of democratic values and an increase in disinformation, intolerance and hatred, education systems, a fortiori, cannot do without properly qualified professionals”.
This clearly highlights the deep need to value the teaching profession, value those who remain, recover those who abandoned and win young people when they make their choices for the future, FENPROF said.
The union therefore urged the Ministry of Education and the Government to:
- Discuss and sign a Negotiation Protocol for the Legislature, which, among other, would take into account the full service time for career purposes, end precariousness, regularise working hours and allow fair retirement in terms of time and value of the pension.
Cape Verde: Government must resolve outstanding issues affecting education and teachers
The Federaçao Cabo verdiana dos Professores (FECAP) appealed to the Ministry of Education of Cape Verde to resolve outstanding issues affecting education and the classrooms, including the promotion of teachers.
A FECAP statement released on World Teachers’ Day demands new measures, particularly to ensure that teachers are automatically promoted. The statement reminds public authorities of their commitments made at the United Nations’ Transforming Education Summit in September. These commitments include increasing the quality of the public education system, guaranteeing labour rights and decent working conditions for teachers, investing in training, trusting and respecting teachers and involving their unions in political decisions through social dialogue.
Hungary: The fight for higher wages and call for support
The protest called for higher wages and aimed to raise awareness for teachers who got fired for protesting. People carried banners with quotes saying, “Do not sack our teachers” or “No teachers, no future” to emphasise the teacher's shortage issue. The campaign “I want to teach” ensured that teachers can maintain their right to strike as the government has released a regulation making strikes in public education almost impossible.
The government claims that it would increase teachers wages once the European Commission releases the EU recovery funding for the country, however, it has been withheld due to rule-of-law disputes.
The teachers and unions are planning to protest again on October 14, 2022.
Iraq/Kurdistan: Teachers’ union raises the standards of education and learning
The KurdistanTeachers Union (KTU) hosted a seminar on October 5th. The event focused on how the union can raise the standards of education and learning in the region.
The seminar also highlighted the need to:
- Establish more professional groups,
- Monitor the educational and teaching processes, and
- Offer projects to enhance teachers' quality of life.
The seminar included a presentation by educational trainer Khalid Hameed Khoshnaw who advised KTU to:
- Work on human rights issues, particularly defending teachers.
- Provide teaching aids and distributing flyers, pamphlets, magazines, books, and newspapers with the assistance of volunteer organisations and sponsors.
- Organise gatherings, seminars, conferences, and forums for science and education.
For the Kurdish teachers Union to reach their goals and enhance teachers’ quality of life they received some of the following recommendations:
- As it is important to spread the teacher union's messages, lobbying groups must be established in the relevant governmental organisations and agencies.
- Setting up advisory councils and meetings to address key teacher and educational issues and provide teachers and other key stakeholders in the educational process with the required guidance.
- Obtain support from non-governmental organisations, at local, national, and international levels, as well as from businesses, the private sector, and request the United Nations to carry out initiatives and activities.